‘Hartlepool Utd deserved to beat Portsmouth’

Michael Duckworth in action against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Duckworth in action against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

MARAUDING full-back Michael Duckworth felt his Hartlepool United team-mates had just about done enough to win against Portsmouth, writes Richard Mennear.

But the defender admits in the end they were happy to take a point, a clean sheet and to maintain their five-match unbeaten run in the league at Victoria Park.

The impressive 21-year-old has been a revelation since signing from non-league side Bradford Park Avenue in the summer, easily adapting to life in the Football League.

Duckworth, who initially signed a month-to-month deal, now has the security of a two-year deal as a result of his consistent form down the right flank.

And German-born Duckworth was happy with the way Pools played in the goalless draw with Pompey.

Duckworth said: “We are happy with a point because we kept a clean sheet but I think we deserved more out of the game and we had enough chances to possibly nick a 1-0.

“It was never going to be a high scoring game but it was two teams that liked to play football and it was a good game.

“Both teams got it down and liked to play.

“It is not often teams come to The Vic and try and play and I thought we played well in spells.

“I think we deserved to win.”

The feeling among the players during the game was that one goal would be enough to secure all three points and while Pools couldn’t quite do enough to secure the win, the players were pleased to get the clean sheet, in Scott Flinders’ 200th game for the club.

Duckworth added: “Scott was buzzing afterwards and it is great for him to

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have the most clean sheets in the Football League for Hartlepool.

“He has done really well and the Yorkshire lads were given him some stick in the dressing room.

“It is great that we have a settled back four and we just need to keep working hard and hopefully the points will come and we can climb up the table.”

Duckworth, who was born in Rinteln, Germany, and lived there for the first four months of his life while his dad was in the Armed Forces, almost scored his first Pools goal on Saturday.

In the 63rd minute, the right-back dribbled his way into the box and forced Trevor Carson into a fumbling save.

Duckworth, who admits he loves getting forward, added: “You don’t want to leave yourself exposed and push too far forward and then leave the other three lads, because if they break and it is three on three, then it is going to be my fault if they get in and score.

“But I do love the attacking side of the game and enjoy going forward.

“It helped me that their winger was tucking in a lot and it gave me time and space to get down the right-hand side.

“I enjoyed it.”