Pools gave the title-chasers a scare in Hampshire but ultimately went home with nothing following Manny Oyeleke’s second-half winner.
It was still a much-improved showing from a Hartlepool side that have slipped to 19th in the National League table - just three points above the relegation zone.
And Bates, the former Middlesbrough defender, was eager to take the positives despite another tough defeat.
"It is really disappointing for us because they are the best team in the league - they play the best football, I am not just saying that," Bates, whose side welcome Boreham Wood on Saturday, told the Hartlepool Mail.
"There was lots of passion and hard work out there. And I have said to the lads that if they do that week after week we will win more games than we lose.
"I think we should have got a point, at least. Even though we have been beaten there are plenty of positives to take from it.”
Photo by Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
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