Antony Sweeney: ‘Big moments’ the difference as Hartlepool United suffer fourth straight League Two defeat at Swindon Town

It was a much improved display for Hartlepool United but the result remained the same as they were beaten 3-1 at Swindon Town on Tuesday night.

By Dominic Scurr
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 11:09 pm

It was a fourth straight League Two defeat for Pools as goals from Jonny Williams, Tyreece Simpson and Jack Payne saw The Robins secure victory at The County Ground.

Matty Daly equalised for Pools just after the hour mark as Pools looked to have the momentum behind them before coming undone at the back twice in the closing stages.

Given their performance, an argument could be made that Hartlepool were unfortunate to be on the losing side, but interim manager Antony Sweeney didn’t see things that way.

Hartlepool United caretaker manager Tony Sweeney during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Forest Green Rovers at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 20th November 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“I don’t feel like we were unfortunate really because we didn’t defend our box well enough and we’ve got to create our own luck,” he told The Mail.

"If we scored three or four goals and lost 4-3 then I’d say we were unfortunate but we didn’t take the majority of our chances and we offered too many chances to the opposition.

“I felt we would be able to manage the game after making it 1-1. We want to win as many games as we can but we’re not naive enough to think we can do that just by showing up.

"We’re away from home and you have to grind out results and we need to have a clean sheet mentality. If we draw 0-0 then it’s a point in the right direction.

If we’re conceding another three goals then it’s going to be very difficult to get something from the game. We don’t score enough to have a chance of winning games when we defend like we have been.

"For large, large periods of the game it panned out how we thought. The difference is, one team took their chances and the other didn't.

"It's still a defeat regardless of the performance. I'd rather play poorly and pick up a result. When you're against the top sides in this league you can't carry passengers and you've got to be good in big moments and we're not anywhere near good enough in big moments at the moment.”

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Story of the night: Swindon Town 3-1 Hartlepool United – Pools unlucky as they f...

In the first half, Mark Cullen thought he’d given Pools the lead after poking Nicky Featherstone’s saved shot in on the rebound. The away side’s celebrations lasted the best part of a minute before the linesman put his flag up to rule the goal out.

“It was confusing,” Sweeney added. “He may well have been offside but the frustration comes with the flag going up 30 seconds after the ball hits the net. It's either offside or it isn't.

“A couple of the lads said he was possibly offside and I might change my mind when I see it back if he is onside but it’s not the decision itself, it’s just the way the decision came about.

"We’ve been on the end of a couple of strange decisions whether they’ve been right or wrong. We created many more chances than just that so we shouldn’t be relying on referee chances to pick up points from this game.”

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