PATCHED-UP Hartlepool have responded in brilliant fashion to caretaker boss Chris Turner’s blast after their home flop against Leyton Orient – now they have to show Victoria Park fans that they have put that performance behind them.
Pool made their supporters suffer with their Orient horror show, but after redeeming themselves with four points in two away games last week, they have at least repaired the damage done to their standing in the League One table. They can go into this week’s home games against Tranmere tomorrow night and Peterborough on Saturday with some pride restored.
After Michael Nelson’s second-half header earned a draw at Colchester, Turner said he felt Pool were good enough to earn a win to add to the midweek success at Swindon. “We deserved our point, and we might even have taken all three,” he said. “But four points in two away games after that Orient game is a huge improvement.”
Turner felt Pool should have had a penalty in the first half when Michael Mackay appeared to be tripped, and he certainly had a point when he added: “The one we got to win the game at Swindon on Tuesday was controversial. But this was clear cut. With our away record this season, it was daunting when we looked at the two games after the Orient match. But winning the first one took some of the pressure off, and following it up with a good draw shows that wasn’t a flash in the pan.
“We’ve shown what we can do and now we have to follow these two games up with good performances at home.” Richie Jones made a welcome return to bolster the midfield after injury, while on loan former Newcastle man Lewis Guy was outstanding up front for Pool as the team tried to cope without injured top scorer Joel Porter.
As well as Mackay’s penalty disappointment, Sam Collins had a good header well saved by Jimmy Walker before Scott Vernon clipped Colchester in front seconds before the break, controlling well on his chest after Marc Tierney’s cross was flicked on.
But Pool dominated the second half and Nelson headed his fourth of the season from Gary Liddle’s corner on 71 minutes.
COLCHESTER: Walker, Maybury, Reid, Baldwin, Tierney, Izzet, Wordsworth, Yeates, Hackney (sub 90 Perkins), Gobern (Gillespie 65), Vernon (Platt 74). Subs (not used): Cousins, Coyne.
Booked: Maybury (foul 42)
Goal: Vernon 45.
HARTLEPOOL: Lee-Barrett, Sweeney, Nelson, Collins, Humphreys, Jones (Foley 67), Clark, Liddle, Monkhouse, Guy, Mackay. Subs (not used): Cook, Henderson, Rowell, Tait.
Booked: Monkhouse (foul 30), Clark (foul 77), Nelson (foul 90).
Goal: Nelson 71
Referee: M Jones (Cheshire) Attendance: 5,158