Hartlepool produced perfect rearguard performance, says former Plymouth Argyle captain Simon Walton
HARTLEPOOL produced 'the perfect 10 versus 11 performance' to beat Argyle 1-0 at Victoria Park on Saturday.
That was the opinion of Pools midfielder, and former Pilgrims captain, Simon Walton.
Hartlepool came out on top despite what Walton described as the 'stupid' sending off of winger Jack Compton.
He was red-carded in the 25th minute after a wild, high challenge on Argyle wing-back Jamie Reckord.
Hartlepool had won their previous three matches, all of them away from Victoria Park, but Walton admitted they had struggled from the start against Argyle.
He said: "Obviously, with the sending off, it was attack versus defence.
"We didn't start the game very well. Plymouth were better and had a couple of chances even at 11 versus 11.
"After the week we had had, we started sloppy and Plymouth were in the ascendancy, and even more so when we had a man sent off, which was stupid and reckless.
"It put under the team under pressure but, in the end, it was the perfect 10 versus 11 performance. We were really disciplined and kept our shape.
"We knew they would have a lot of the ball, with Youngy (Luke Young) and Conor (Hourihane) in there.
"We knew they would try to get the number eight (Rommy Boco) on the ball but we held out in the end and it was a valuable three points."
Hartlepool's winning goal was scored by 18-year striker Luke James in the 55th minute.
It was his sixth goal in 11 starts and four substitute appearances this season, and Walton was swift to pay tribute to him.
"Lukey does that week in, week out," said Walton. "That's not a fluke.
"He looks like a little pup but he terrorises defences. He's on the fire at the minute, and we knew we would get one or two chances maybe on the break.
"Luckily, the one we got, we took, and we held on."
Hartlepool were also indebted to some excellent saves from their goalkeeper and man-of-the-match Scott Flinders. Walton said: "That's probably the busiest Scotty has been all season.
"We have been defending pretty resolutely recently, but with it being 10 versus 11 and backs against the wall, he had to earn his money, and he certainly did.
"He made some good saves and kept us in it," added Walton, who signed for Hartlepool from the Pilgrims in the summer of 2012.
The 26-year-old midfielder hopes Argyle can turn around their fortunes soon and start moving up the table.
He said: "I want the club to do well. It's a shame the way it's going at the minute.
"They have got the people and the characters there who want to do well for the club so, hopefully, it will turn around soon."