James Poole and Peter Hartley found the net this afternoon to give Pools back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
John Hughes' men dug deep and in the end were worthy of their 2-1 victory over Notts County on an entertaining afternoon at The Vic.
It took a lively Pools side just four minutes to take the lead this afternoon – and James Poole marked his first home start since November in some style.
Simon Walton, again a real solid presence in the middle for Pools, did well to force the ball forward to Charlie Wyke. The on-loan striker picked out Jonathan Franks speeding up the right wing and his cross from the right picked out Poole in the centre – and the forward showed a great touch to bring the ball down with his first touch and volley it home with his second.
And this early strike by Poole really lifted the team who put in the best first-half display seen at The Vic so far this season.
John Hughes’ side chased every ball, closed down in numbers and looked full of enthusiasm running forward.
James Poole was in great form this afternoon, buzzing around in the final third and linking up well with Charlie Wyke.
Franks was in action pushing forward again shortly after; the winger pushed to the byline before whipping a neat ball into the box where Wyke arrived to challenge but Gary Liddle blocked it out for a corner.
There were more chances for Pools as Peter Hartley, Wyke and Poole all tried their luck from distance.
Hartley was busy at the other end as he was brave to block a Jamal Campbell-Ryce during a spell of pressure from the visitors.
Neil Austin met the following corner with a perfectly-timed block to send a Francois Zoko header wide of target.
Scott Flinders was then in the right place to collect a second Zoko effort with a comfortable save.
While dealing with the Notts County threat for the first half, Pools had looked the brightest going forward and were worthy of their half-time advantage.
Jonathan Franks went close to giving Pools just as good a start to the second half as they had in the first when he sent a curling effort at goal from the right but the winger was denied by a combination of Spiess and post.
But the majority of the second half opening belonged to County, who had changed things round at half time and moved former Poolie Liddle into midfield.
And the visitors’ possession paid off just after the 50-minute mark when Jamal Campbell-Ryce pushed in from the right to send a lovely effort across goal and into the bottom left corner of Flinders’ net.
Notts County looked much more of a threat after the break, with Pools being forced back time after time and Hartley and his back line being the busier of the two defences.
There was a spell of real urgency from Keith Curle’s side and Pools struggled to get out of their own box – Peter Hartley in particular was kept busy as he cleared a succession of balls into the area.
After dealing with so much pressure at the back, Hartley was proving his worth at the other end of the pitch. When Alan Sheehan handled a Franks cross into the box, Horwood lifted a lovely freekick to the far post where the Pools’ skipper rose to force a header over the line and make it 2-1 to Pools.
Notts County were not finished with their pressure though and Pools had to remain solid at the back and Scott Flinders plucked a great Jeff Hughes’ cross out of the air to deny the visitors.
The last ten minutes were more even though as Pools looked full of confidence and saw their fair share of the ball - frustrating County where possible.
Full Time: Pools 2 Notts County 1
Att: 3662 (271 Notts County)
Booked: Hartley (55), Walton (90) – Notts County: Campbell-Ryce (61)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Walton, Baldwin, Humphreys, Franks (Holden 71), Poole (James 78), Wyke (Monkhouse 82)
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Luscombe, Rowbotham, Rutherford
Notts County: Spiess, Sheehan, Leacock, Liddle, Judge, Hughes, Zoko (Nagle 80), Arquin (Bencherif 76), Labadie (Kelly 46), Campbell-Ryce, Boucaud
Subs Not Used: Smith, Showunmi, Mahon, Pilkington