Harsh penalty, harsh outcome,
That was the verdict of Craig Hignett after suffering back-to-back Hartlepool United defeats in the space of five days.
We got into the game after a slow start and should have won it, we played some good stuffCRAIG HIGNETT
The new Pools boss felt his team were on the rough end of the decisions from referee Andy Davies, especially the penalty just before the hour.
Mr Davies ruled Nicky Featherstone had handled in the box from Danny Green’s free-kick, an award Hignett also felt unjust.
“I think it was harsh,” said Hignett. “I just think Batesy has ran across him.
“I don’t mind decisions like that, but they have to be consistent because Billy Paynter has been pushed from pillar to post again and got nothing all day.
“Foul or not, I don’t know, it was debatable, but he’s given them a few of them in a similar area. I felt he was giving them everything.
“Was it a pen? I think it was harsh.
“He said Nicky had his hand over his head and it’s hit him on the forearm, but for me it’s hit him on the elbow in front of his face.
“You hear about unnatural positions and all that but you see defensive walls covering their faces and protecting themselves every week.
“I felt it was really harsh.
“In terms of our reaction it was great, we didn’t stop doing what we were doing.”
Indeed, within five minutes of going behind, Adam Jackson headed Hignett’s side level from a Jake Gray corner and from then on, Pools looked the better team only to concede a late Craig Mackail-Smith winner.
“I felt the second-half was different class,” said Hignett. “We got into the game after a slow start and should have won it, we played some good stuff.
“Jacko attacked his header really well, and, like the other night against Notts County, after we got level I thought there was only one team going to win it.
“The second-half we had a really good shape about us, were difficult to break down and we were the better team – but we still lost.
“That can’t continue, the penny will drop.”
It was a bitter-sweet moment for Hignett, upset that Mackail-Smith got the winner, but satisfaction with the team display.
“Defensively, it was a really poor goal to give away.
“But, overall, I’m really pleased with what I’ve seen from the lads, how they’ve come on from that first game against Yeovil to how they are playing now.”
– ROY KELLY