STRONG words from Hartlepool United boss Ronnie Moore sparked a remarkable turnaround – including a goal of the season contender from Michael Duckworth.
And Duckworth admits it was a relieved Pools camp after they had been accused of not being professional enough following the first-half horror show.
We got in at half time and there were some strong words from the managerMichael Duckworth
The marauding full-back was subdued in the opening 45 minutes at Brunton Park, as Keith Curle’s Carlisle went on the rampage, taking a quick-fire 3-0 lead.
But Pools came out revived to seal a point, including a stunning strike from Duckworth, his fourth of the season.
It sparked another acrobatic celebration from the Yorkshireman.
“They were on top of us first half and we just couldn’t get our shape right,” said Duckworth.
“We got in at half-time and there were some strong words said from the manager.
“Even if there was nothing to play for, it wasn’t professional enough from us, that was the message.
“We had to give the fans something and the game just summed our season up in many ways.
“It was frustrating really because if we had played like we did in the second-half in other games this season then we wouldn’t be where we finished in the league.
“Going in at half-time I couldnt see that second half going the way it did.
“It was an end of season game and I was thinking don’t concede another and we’ll take a 3-0.
“But the way we came out, we pressed them and changed it around a bit.”
On-loan Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill scored the first from close range before Duckworth popped up with a wonder strike, after good work from sub Marlon Harewood in the build-up.
Duckworth struck the ball first time from 25-yards and watched it fly into the top left-hand corner of the net.
An unstoppable strike and a somersault to celebrate.
Duckworth added: “I’d love to repeat that goal every week because they don’t come around every week for players like me!
“Strikers usually score more than I do but I’d certainly take four for the season.
“It was the best goal I have ever hit – no doubt!
“Mind, I’ll have to practice a new celebration.
“I went off on my own and the other lads were celebrating with the fans, I thought I better join them.
“All the goals were well worked and the last was one of the best team goals we’ve scored this season.”
The players enjoyed an end-of season night out after the trip to Carlisle and Duckworth is now looking forward to a few week’s rest ahead of pre-season.
He added: “I’m going to have a few weeks off, let my body recover, go on a few holidays and then get back at it.
“The manager will be talking to people about contracts but if we get the right people in then we can do alright next season.”