Hartlepool United glass is half-full not half empty after 1-1 draw at Whitby Town

Rhys Oates scores with a header against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Rhys Oates scores with a header against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID

Are you a glass half-empty or glass half-full person?

A come-from-behind 1-1 draw at Whitby Town, who were having their first pre-season run-out, might not have shaken many League Two rivals.

The positives certainly outweighed the negatives


But let’s be positive. Pools are on their way back after wretched season after wtetched season and it’s going to take more than a few weeks.

Ronnie Moore, allied with Sam Collins, Russ Green, the ex-owners and new ones, has worked his socks off to bring in 10 signings to revitalise the League Two side.

And the promise is there.

Yes, it took an equaliser 20 minutes from time via the head of one of the signings, Rhys Oates, to protect the unbeaten run in pre-season.

But there were plenty of sights at the Whitby goal although you would say, on the balance of play, a draw was a fair result at the Turnbull Ground.

“It was a good work-out, they are a decent side with decent players,” said Moore.

“We’ve got to step it up a little bit, everything is slow at the moment, the passing’s not crisp enough, the ball’s going square too often.

“But this is what pre-season’s about, we don’t want to be peaking right now.

“You can get a bit frustrated but it was a helluva workout.

“I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as that and, at the end of the day, we probably did well to get the draw.

“Their goal was a bit sloppy, I’m fed up of telling them that square balls get you killed. But overall, it was a decent performance.”

The positives certainly outweighed the negatives.

Oates got off the mark, defender Scott Harrison made a seamless return to the field, and Connor Smith produced a bright display in an unfamiliar midfield role.

The second half side was the better of the two XIs, with Brad Walker and Nicky Featherstone looking good in the middle while the defensive three of Jordan Richards, Matthew Bates and Keran Green were assured.

There was a clean sheet for Peter Denton in goal. Adam Bartlett took the first 45 minute stint with Trevor Carson nursing a sore hamstring.

It would probably harsh to go overboard on any negatives. Pools were a little wasteful with the ball in the first half against a tenacious Whitby side who made their presence felt in all areas of the field.

After the break, they did not get the ball enough to Jake Carroll at left-wingback.

Almost all the play went down the right channel, where Kudus Oyenuga seems to be striving for some match fitness.

To the Londoner’s credit, he was not shy in wanting the ball but is lacking sharpness atthe moment, but, doubtless, that will come in the approaching weeks.

Pools conceded their first goal in pre-season in the 12th minute, with Mikey Roberts scoring on his debut after the visitors gave the ball away.

The striker, signed from Guisborough Town with the aid of a fan’s donation, let fly from the right side of the area, his right-footer taking a deflection off Carl Magnay and flying past Bartlett.

Rakish Bingham curled an effort just wide as Pools threatened an equaliser while Magnay should have done better with a free header from a Johnny Giles corner.

Giles went over the bar from edge of box with each foot while Harrison had a shot blocked by Ibrahim Hassan.

It was all change for Pools in the second half but there was no change on the shooting front, Smith and Oyenuga both going wide from the right-hand side of the box.

Whitby boss Darren Williams was not shy in altering his side either, retaining only keeper Shane Bland for the second half. He even brought on old Pools favourite James Brown.

But Pools had the better of the second period although they had to wait until the 70th minute to draw level when Oates rose well to head in Smith’s cross from the right from eight yards.

Walker was unlucky to see a deflected shot loop onto the bar, Bland made a fine save from Oates and Carroll delayed too long and was denied by sub Liam Shepherd’s sliding block, but a draw was a fair result.