'One of the best in the National League': The Boreham Wood threat which Hartlepool United couldn't deal with
Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor says his side didn’t deal well enough with Boreham Wood attacker Sorba Thomas during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Victoria Park.
Pools dropped to 14th in the National League after two goals from their former midfielder Gus Mafuta, either side of Mason Bloomfield’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
The visitors would have felt unfortunate to fall behind just before the break and were able to pin Pools back for large spells in the opening 45 minutes.
Boreham Wood strikers Kabongo Tshimanga and Matt Rhead occupied Pools’ back three of Lewis Cass, Tyler Magloire and Ryan Johnson, while the visitors’ wing-backs Kane Smith and Zaine Francis-Angol regularly took up advanced positions.
Thomas also caused problems as he found pockets of space just behind Pools midfielders Nicky Featherstone and Tom Crawford.
“I thought we started the game well and were on top for the first 10/15 minutes,” said Challinor when assessing the match.
“They then got a grip of things and we weren’t controlling what Sorba Thomas did, he's a threat and in my opinion is one of the best if not the best in the National League.
“What we needed to do was Cass and Tyler and Jonno needed to deal with him or pass information onto Feds and Craws in front of them and I don’t think we did that well enough.”
After drawing level through Bloomfield, Pools started the second half much brighter and had chances to take the lead.
The best chance came on the hour mark when Bloomfield connected with David Ferguson’s cross but failed to hit the target from close range.
“I thought for 15 minutes we were in control of the game but momentum turns massively quickly,” added Challinor.
“We go from Mason missing, it’s hard to say, it looks like he’s there and misses an open goal. Then within 15 seconds they take the goal kick and Tshimanga is through on our goal.
“For the next little bit territory-wise, they came into the game and scored the goal.
“At the end we’ve got lots and lots of forward players on the pitch and there’s a trade off between getting the ball forward quickly and trying to play your way in.”