Neil Critchley's frustration following Blackpool's FA Cup loss at Hartlepool United

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley did not enjoy being left out of the FA Cup draw following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Hartlepool United on Saturday.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 8:00 am

Keshi Anderson had given the Seasiders the lead inside the opening 10 minutes, only for the home team to stage a comeback in a quarter-hour spell after the break, having been dominated for the first half.

Critchley had been eager for Blackpool to be involved in the fourth round and that showed in his team selection, making one change from the win over Hull City.

However, following a solid first-half showing which gave the hosts little or nothing to show for their efforts, they let their advantage slip.

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Neil Critchley looks on as his Blackpool side lose at Hartlepool United

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Left-back David Ferguson and substitute Joe Grey turned the game around for the League Two side.

Critchley said: “I’m frustrated we didn’t take our chances, disappointed and angry with the way we started the second half.

“Then, after the game, you feel really deflated.

“If you look at the team we selected, we wanted to come here and get through to the next round, and have a good cup run.

“When the FA Cup draw comes round, and we’re not in it, then it won’t be a nice feeling.”

Blackpool missed a host of clear-cut opportunities during the game, Shayne Lavery twice fluffing his lines from six yards out and CJ Hamilton once.

Critchley felt that his players’ missed opportunities gave the hosts extra belief and motivation that they could ultimately get something from the game.

Despite his disappointment, he wished them well for the fourth round and beyond.

Critchley said: “Missing the chances gives the opposition a lift, they’re thinking ‘This should be over but we’re still in it.’

“Whilst it’s 1-0 they’re always in with a chance. We had some real gilt-edged opportunities to go 2-0 up and the game would have been different.

“The start of the second half was unacceptable for us. I wouldn’t want to use the word ‘complacency’ but the players did give me that feeling.

“After the second goal we did get going again, but it was too little too late, and Hartlepool have already shown this season that they can beat teams higher up in the league pyramid.

“They have a good home record and they’re hard to beat on their home pitch.

“Fair play to them, good luck. I hope they get a really good draw in the next round now, this is their day.”

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