Pools not haunted by home hoodoo
IT’S now four home games without a win this season, but Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett is unconcerned.
Pools may have renamed Victoria Park as The Northern Gas and Power Stadium over the summer, but they need some extra energy to end their poor home run.
Three draws and one defeat is their record, as they were left to rue missed chances against a well-drilled and defensive Mansfield Town.
The Stags were happy to sit back and defend, frustrating Pools, but Hignett said: “We’ve not won at home, but it doesn’t bother me. We have taken good steps after losing at Stevenage, home wins will come and we aren’t a million miles away.
“We want to win at home, to make it a fortress, and we’ve not been beaten by Mansfield.’’
Midfielder Josh Laurent was denied three times. First his close-range volley flew over the bar, then a rising shot was tipped over brilliantly by keeper Scott Shearer, and finally he almost connected with a Nathan Thomas free-kick at the far post.
Pools thought they had scored when Billy Paynter chipped Shearer, but his finish went over the bar too.
Stags left-back Mal Benning curled a shot wide with his right foot after an adventurous run forward, but their best chance came with Matt Green in on goal, only for Pools keeper Trevor Carson to stand tall and block the close-range finish.
The Stags’ first opening came on the hour mark, as Benning tricked his way forward and tried a low shot with his right foot which curled wide.
Laurent was denied when his well-struck shot from 12 yards was well tipped over the bar by Shearer.
Hignett added: “Mansfield put us under pressure and if you don’t match that then you won’t get the better of them and you will lose. We did that.’’
Stags boss Adam Murray, who has allowed Adam Chapman to leave and is about to tie striker Green down to a new contract, said: “I’m happy with a point. We looked a bit disjointed in the first half so tweaked a few things at half-time and then improved on the back of it.
“We feel like the start of the season has been bitty and bobby and a bit disjointed.
“As a group we have drawn a line under the off-field issues – Matt Green in the last few games hasn’t been himself and we have missed him. He’s now about to extend his contact which is a massive thing for the group going forwards.”
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