Hartlepool United 1 Colchester United 1: Craig Hignett satisfied with point

Nathan Thomas is tripped for the Pools penalty. Picture by FRANK REID
Nathan Thomas is tripped for the Pools penalty. Picture by FRANK REID

Craig Hignett admitted he was "satisfied" with a point from an opening-day draw with Colchester United.

Pools trailed early to the relegated U's when Tom Eastman finished high into Trevor Carson's net in the fourth minute.

But the home side were level in the 26th minute when super-cool Billy Paynter converted from the spot after star turn Nathan Thomas was tripped in the area.

Pools had the better of the rest of the first period though Colchester had the pick of the second-half chances, midfielder Kurtis Guthrie guilty of missing one brilliant opening.

"It could have been 2-1 to them inside four minutes!" said Hignett. "It was a sloppy start from us.

"But after about 15 minutes we bossed the rest of the first half and I was disappointed we could not keep that same intensity in the second half for whatever reason.

"We had some good passages of play but I don't think we were as good as we were in the first half.

"There were loads of chances, we maybe had five or six, they had some great opportunities.

"It could have gone either way, so I've got to be satisfied with a point. I think a draw was a fair result."

Hignett admitted he went through a tough selection process to get that XI on the pitch.

The Pools boss plumped for a 4-4-2 formation with Paynter and Padraig Amond up front with Thomas and Alessandra as the wider players with Nicky Featherstone and Lewis Hawkins in the middle.

"It was unbelievably difficult coming up with a team," said Hignett. "I had four different teams before today! I could have played any of them.

"I like 4-3-3 best but 4-4-2 allows me to get my attacking players on the pitch."