Pools lost out to a late Burton Albion goal here at The Vic on a disappointing afternoon from Ronnie Moore’s side.
Pools had an early let-off as Scott Harrison challenged Lucas Akins inside the box but as the visitors stepped up their appeals for a penalty, referee Mr Bond showed Akins a yellow for diving. Burton continued their bright start and looked a real threat going forward, with Stuart Beavon in particular causing problems with his movement up front. Pools had to be strong at the back and Scott Flinders led the way, saving from Tom Naylor who fired in from the edge of the box. David Mirfin was again important for Moore’s side and he got in a couple of big clearances to send the ball back away from goal. Marlon Harewood was involved in most things for Pools in the final third for a spell, using his experience to lead the line, while Jordan Jones was bright down the right wing and opened things up for his side a few times. Aaron Tshibola had a shot blocked mid-way through the first half which rebounded back out to Harwood but he saw his effort saved. Ryan Bird hit a decent half-volley at goal from a tight angle but that was also held by Jon McLaughlin in the visiting goal. The on-loan striker also got stuck in to his defending and cleared a couple of corners with decent headers back up field. Pools had a penalty shout of their own just before the break when Harewood tangled with John Mousinho inside the box; again the officials ignored any appeals and played continued. It was a fairly even first half with few clear-cut chances for either side; Burton were a threat with every counter and Pools looked The second half scrappy to start, with nothing really from either team to threaten a goal and, after giving his first-half side 15 minutes to show promise, Ronnie Moore made a double change. Connor Smith and Jonathan Franks replaced Marlon Harewood and Jack Compton as the Pools boss looked to find the spark his side had missed so far. With 70 minutes played, Franks opened up down the left to whip a teasing cross into the box which had the keeper beat but crept out at the far post, just ahead of Jordan Jones running in. But the spark failed to materialise as the second half remained scrappy and slow, with neither side offering enough going forward and nothing to give that lift. Moore used his final change on 80 minutes to change things round up front and Marvin Morgan came on to replace the hard-working Ryan Bird. But it was Burton who grabbed the crucial late goal; from a Pools freekick, Stuart Beavon was allowed far too much room to counter attack, running the length of the pitch almost unchallenged. He squared for sub Florent Cuvelier who sent a shot past Flinders and into the far corner. It was a late blow for Pools and one there was no time to recover from and so it was another defeat and another opportunity missed to claw back some space at the bottom of the league. Full Time: Pools 0 Burton Albion 1 Booked: Tshibola (58) Attendance: 3289 (170 Burton Albion) Pools: Flinders, Austin, Harrison, Mirfin, D Jones, J Jones, Tshibola, Featherstone, Compton (Franks 62), Bird (Morgan 80), Harewood (Smith 62). Subs Not Used: Maxted, Richards, Duckworth, Walker. Burton Albion: McLaughlin, Edwards, Candsell-Sherriff, Mousinho, Weir, Beavon, Akins, McCrory, Naylor, Palmer (Cuvelier 84 (Taft 90)), Antoine-Curier (El Khayati 74). Subs Not Used: Phillips, Slade, Harness, Shearer.