Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper left frustrated by late defeat to Cheltenham Town

Luke James in action against Cheltenham Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James in action against Cheltenham Town. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper believes his Hartlepool United side deserved to get something from the trip to Cheltenham Town.

A 90th minute goal from Town sub Koby Arthur secured a dramatic late win for Mark Yates’ unbeaten side.

Pools struggled to create chances of their own at Whaddon Road but did defend well in the Sky Bet League Two match and Cooper felt his team was worthy of a point.

Cooper said: “They gambled more and more and threw more bodies in our box and had the ammunition to get it there very quickly.

“No matter how you set things up you still need to defend the 18-yard box.

“The lads are disappointed because it is the smallest man on the pitch who scores with a header and from that point, it really hurts.”

The Pools manager added: “But you feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you when that happens.

“Mark [Yates] will think that was three points well gained.

“My view on it, is we have come away from Cheltenham and have nothing when we deserve something.

“There wasn’t enough real quality from us to go and win the game but I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game.”

Meanwhile, Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson said they are playing a “patient game” in their ongoing pursuit for Luke James.

League One Posh have already had a bid rejected and Cooper said after the Cheltenham match that, as things stood, no deal had been agreed.

The 19-year-old - who has handed in two transfer requests in recent weeks - is Ferguson’s sole transfer target before the transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday night.

James returned to the squad on Saturday and came on as a late substitute after missing the Wimbledon win last week.

Speaking on Saturday, Ferguson said: “We are playing a patient game with our main transfer target.

“If we don’t get him the loan market opens in a week, although I’m not sure of the merits of going down that route.”

* See Monday’s Hartlepool Mail for full match analysis, reaction and pictures from the match at Whaddon Road.