Laurent edging closer to breaking his Hartlepool United duck

Josh Laurent: Best chances
Josh Laurent: Best chances

Hartlepool United midfielder Josh Laurent feels it is only a matter of time before he nets his maiden Football League strike.

The 21-year came within a whisker of notching his first senior goal during Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Mansfield.

With just six minutes left on the clock Laurent managed to connect with a curling Nathan Thomas cross from the right, but he failed to get enough on it, and saw the glancing effort sail wide.

He also had the best of the opening period, too, when Paynter teed him up in the area, but his effort was lashed wildly over the top of Scott Shearer’s upright.

Former QPR youngster Laurent is yet to net for Pools and failed to also do so while at Brentford, Newport County or in the Conference with Braintree.

He feels it’s only a matter of time before he’s got his hands in the air, and not on his head.

When asked when that breakthrough is coming he joked: “Next week.

“I’m getting closer and closer.

“I went close in the EFL Cup against Preston and again against Mansfield.

“I must keep working on this kind of thing Monday to Friday in training. I do feel that it’s coming, though.

“I keep praying that hopefully it will.”

Stags stopper Shearer also made one good stop to deny Laurent, in what was a hat-trick of missed chances for the rangy winter window capture.

“The keeper made a good save,” conceded Laurent.

“I was disappointed with the first shot but when it came back to me it was head down and hit it as hard as I could.”

Pools have won five times at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium since Laurent’s arrival on a free transfer from Brentford back on February 1.

But they have not done so since April 16.

Much like his own goals tally, that’s something Laurent is keen to turn around, especially with so much focus placed on Pools’ record at the Vic in recent times.

And echoing the views of his manager Craig Hignett, Laurent thinks that the club’s first win of the campaign at home is just around the corner.

“The home win is coming,” he said.

“If we keep playing like that and keep getting the chances like that then we’ll beat someone 2-0 or 3-0.”

Reflecting back on Saturday’s encounter, Laurent is convinced Pools’ performance was well worth three points.

The midfield man reckons defensively United were solid, restricting the opposition to just one opportunity - when Trevor Carson had to be at his very best to deny Stags forward Matt Green in the second half.

It was in the final third that Laurent feels Pools let themselves down.

And he admits he was probably the worst culprit for missing chances to win it for Hignett’s men.

Laurent said: “I thought we were much the better side.

“I think they only really had one chance in the whole game.

“Apart from that, they never really threatened us.

“I don’t think there was any point in the game that we ever felt we were going to lose it. In fact, I thought we were the only team that was going to win the game.”

“I’m disappointed, though, because I know that I should have scored.

“When you miss chances like I did there are no excuses.

“I should have done more with the header.”

Laurent continued: “I was disappointed not to score. I think the lads were disappointed we didn’t score, but it’s coming. We are not playing too badly.

“My footwork has always been there, the shooting a little off. I’m hoping the more and more I stay in the team that it will come naturally and people will see there’s more to me.”