Hartlepool United boss Mick Wadsworth says team deserved a point from Leyton Orient game

Gary Liddle comes close to getting kicked in the head as he wins a header. Picture by FRANK REID
Gary Liddle comes close to getting kicked in the head as he wins a header. Picture by FRANK REID

MICK Wadsworth felt that his side’s second-half revival was worthy of at least a point during last night’s 1-0 defeat against Leyton Orient.

Pools were trailing to Jimmy Smith’s 28th-minute volley entering half-time following an opening period in which they’d chased shadows for the large part.

But a tactical re-shuffle, in which striker Ryan Donaldson was sacrificed for midfielder Joe Gamble, saw the hosts match their opponents’ 4-5-1 system and gradually they began to fashion some chances of their own.

Andy Monkhouse went close with three headers, one of which clipped the crossbar, and visiting midfielder Matt Spring struck the same piece of woodwork following a wild attempt at a clearance late on.

The result sees seventh-placed Orient climb six points clear of Pools, but Wadsworth was able to take heart from the second-half resurgence.

“If you are going to lose it has got to be on the back of a decent performance,” he told SportMail.

“The last three home defeats have been against very good teams – MK Dons, Huddersfield and Leyton Orient – and they’ve played very good football.

“But each time we’ve been in the game and probably deserved something out of all of them – and I can deal with that.

“The second-half performance was much better, first half not so clever.

“At half-time we had to change to stop them playing and Ryan was disappointed to come off but he understood.

“We told Gary Liddle to sit on Matt Spring and pushed three lads on their back four and it worked.

“Then we took Paul Murray off and put Adam Boyd on and that worked as well and the game swung our way.

“In the end we’ve had enough chances to win three or four games.

“Monks has had three good headers and they’ve hit their bar.

“The statistics show we had the better possession, more efforts on goal and more entries into their box so there was plenty to be pleased about.”

Pools were without Antony Sweeney, who suffered a nasty ankle gash in the weekend win over Plymouth Argyle.

And Wadsworth admits his goal threat was sorely missed.

“Losing Sweeney diminishes our goal threat significantly, that’s a fact,” he added.

“Those runs he makes and goals he scores you can’t replace that.

“If he plays then maybe one of those many balls into the box drops for him, because he would always be in there, no doubt.

“But we’ve had a damn good go and created enough not to be too downhearted.

“Let’s just pick ourselves up and go again at Walsall on Saturday.

“The lads have earned a couple of days’ break and I’ll give them that because it’s been a gruelling couple of months.”