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Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison reacts to Eastleigh loss

Craig Harrison
Craig Harrison

Three goals away from home, in the lead twice and still nothing to show for it.

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison admits he is becoming increasingly frustrated with his players after their latest away day capitulation.

Pools led twice in the opening 45 at Eastleigh courtesy of opportunist strikes from bang in form Michael Woods.

But they allowed themselves to be pegged back on two occasions, first from Sam Togwell, and then again two minutes into three added on at the break when Chris Zebroski was allowed the run of the Pools box.

And then in the second half they allowed veteran frontman Zebroski to complete the easiest of hat-tricks, gifting him another two goals before Conor Newton bagged a consolation late on.

Harrison is angry that Pools opened the door to the hosts at Ten Acres, when they seemed to be in total control.

In association with flybe

In association with flybe

"I thought in the first half we were excellent," said Harrison.

"But key moments in games make all the difference and we let them back in just before the break. We concede from a corner and whether you like it or not it probably changes the mentality of everyone.

"As we know in football you have a spring in your step when you go in one up but the opposite happens if you concede just before the break.

"Two goals conceded from two corners. It is a set position you can be organised.

"We weren't. We didn't get close enough. We didn't defend the box. Everyone in general, not just individuals."

Football has very much taken a back seat at the club in recent weeks with the threat of administration and liquidation looming large over Victoria Park.

But after this latest debacle, it must come back under the microscope. And that will not make good reading for Harrison.

His side have not won in 10 National League games, 11 in total including the embarrassing FA Trophy defeat to Workington.

That is a run which goes back more than two months to the win over Halifax Town on November 21.

Put simply, it's not good enough.

Pools are in freefall. And even though they picked up a point and stretched the gap to the bottom four to seven points in the week, it is back down to four now due to Solihull Moors impressive 3-1 victory at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Harrison said: "We have done better going forward than we have in a while.

"We have scored three great goals and that should be enough to win any game you play.

"It's about trying to get the happy medium between defence and attack. At the moment we do not have that."

On an utterly forgettable, but entertaining day, for the neutral anyway, Harrison singled out two-goal Woods for particular praise.

"We spotted from very early on that he was able to creep into good positions and anticipate where the ball would drop," said the under pressure manager.

"Maybe before he did not have the confidence in front of goal but we have worked on that.

"Now he has improved his confidence and finishing and is reaping the rewards."