'Nailed on' – Hartlepool United's penalty frustrations continue as manager Dave Challinor praises second half response against Boreham Wood

It’s been 33 games and counting since Hartlepool United were last awarded a penalty in the National League.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 4:45 pm

And following a number of turned down penalty shouts over the Easter bank holiday weekend matches against Dagenham & Redbridge and Boreham Wood, manager Dave Challinor has spoken out.

The 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood on Easter Monday saw David Ferguson clattered over inside the penalty area in the closing stages as Pools pushed for a winner.

The referee was quick to wave away the loud appeals from the Hartlepool players and bench as their wait for a penalty kick continued.

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Hartlepool manager, Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barnet at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 27th February 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

"It was a nailed on penalty,” Challinor told the Mail.

“We’re having no luck with penalties. People say they even themselves out over the course of the season but we’ve had one penalty on the first game of the season and haven’t had one for 33 games in the league.

"We've had two stonewall penalties turned down in two games now. The decisions aren’t 50/50 or anything like that, they’re penalties.

"We’ve not got them and the only thing you can hope for, with an optimistic view is that we’re maybe saving them up and maybe we’ll get one that goes in our favour further down the line."

Prior to the penalty shout, Challinor was pleased with how his side had responded to a poor first half display.

“The first goal we conceded was poor,” he added. “We should have won a header in the middle of the pitch and were too passive in terms of our defending and we didn’t pick up the players in the box.

"We got an immediate response which was a good goal and three in three for Gav [Holohan]. We then get a semi foothold in the game and Shelts [Mark Shelton] should have made it 2-1.

"Then there’s a mistake from [Lewis] Cass in terms of overrunning the ball and it’s poor defensively but Ben should save the shot at his near post regardless of whether he’s 50-per-cent fit, 20-per-cent fit. If he’s 100-per-cent fit, that doesn’t go in.

"There have been minimal occasions this year where I’ve had to have a real go at them and in saying that, credit where credit is due in the second half. They took things on board and were outstanding.”

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