We must improve on set-plays - Lambert

COLCHESTER United boss Paul Lambert rued his team's failure to defend set pieces, as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by mid-table Hartlepool.

Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United boss Paul Lambert rued his team's failure to defend set pieces, as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by mid-table Hartlepool.

Scott Vernon handed the U's a 1-0 lead just before half-time, when he pounced onto Anthony Wordsworth's flick-on, but defender Michael Nelson headed home a 71st minute equaliser from Gary Liddle's corner.

Lambert said: “Defending set pieces is a big part of the game. You have to get to grips with corners and free-kicks, otherwise you're not going to win games.


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“I thought we played really well, especially in the first half, but we got caught by another corner. We have got to defend corners better. We must rectify that.

“We had chances to get a winner late on. Steven Gillespie had a chance. He's not fully fit at the moment, but he always seems to get chances, whether he starts or comes on as a substitute.

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“We missed Dean Hammond. He has had a problem with his hamstring for a couple of weeks, and with all the games coming up, we had to rest him. But hopefully he will be fit to play at Huddersfield on Tuesday,” added Lambert.

Hartlepool boss Chris Turner said: “I thought we deserved the point. We seemed to up the tempo in the second half and I always thought we might produce something from a corner. We nearly did it in the first half with Sam Collins.

“I also thought we should have had a definite penalty (Alan Maybury foul on Michael Mackay). That was a stone-wall penalty.

“The pressure was off us after our win at Swindon (1-0 on Tuesday night), and today was a battling performance following our second six-hour journey on the bus this week.

“Colchester were able to rest a couple of their players, like Clive Platt and David Perkins, but we cannot put that luxury on the bench,” added Turner.

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