Pools took all three points with a 2-1 victory over York City in today's League Two match at Victoria Park.
While it wasn't as comfortable a win as Pools would have liked against a York side who were reduced to ten men in the first half, Craig Hignett's side were worthy winners.
Pools side set the early tempo as the enthusiasm on the pitch was matched by a decent atmosphere off it. Nathan Thomas, back in the eleven after missing the midweek trip to Notts County, was in determined mood today and set up the first chance after linking up well with Jake Carroll down the left. He sent a teasing cross into the box which picked out Luke James in the middle but he sent his shot over the bar. Thomas tried an effort of his own shortly after, pushing into the box from a central position to send a left-footed strike at goal which also went over the bar of former Pools number one Scott Flinders’ goal. York found much of their possession brought to a sharp halt by the Pools midfield but did break through for Bradley Fewster to send in a shot from distance but Pools current number one Trevor Carson held it comfortably. Back at the busier end of the pitch and the industrious James turned to shoot on goal only to see it blocked and Thomas had another strike held by Flinders. The first goal came on 24 minutes; Michaell Duckworth sent a low corner into the box from the left which bounced its way through to Thomas who finished neatly past Flinders from close range with a goal he dedicated to his grandad who passed away this week. Hignett’s side continued to dominate following the goal and, on 35 minutes, they saw the opposition reduced to ten men. Dave Winfield, who had picked up his first yellow for pulling Luke James down by the neck, was shown his second for a needless foul on Thomas, leaving his side to finish the game without him. Carl Magnay looked to help Pools to a second goal soon after the sending off with a couple of strong crosses from the right but Scott Bennett stood strong for the visitors and cleared the danger. Flinders then came to the rescue for his York City side, first denying Duckworth from close range with a save with his feet and then going full stretch to palm another Duckworth strike – this time a powerful drive from distance – around the post. The final minutes of the half were quite a contrast to those that preceded with York enjoying some attacking possession of their own. And, when a corner came in from the left, Kyle Cameron found himself in plenty of space to get a header past Carson to give his side an equaliser going into the break. It was a more sloppy start to the second half from Pools, who failed to find their stride in the early minutes and there was more defending than attacking to do for a spell. The visitors were clearly looking to take advantage of this spell and there was a decent volley from Russell Penn which found only the arms of Carson before the lively Luke Hendrie tried to open things up down the right for York. Luke James threw himself at a Magnay cross from the right to send a diving header at goal but his effort went wide of the far post. Scott Flinders then stepped up to make a succession of saves, first denying Michael Woods who sent a powerful shot in from a central position with an impressive block and then collecting more comfortably from James from distance. Pools did beat Flinders on 73 minutes though as Michael Woods restored the lead; a cross into the box picked out the midfielder and he sent a header in off the bar from close distance to make it 2-1. Luke James, desperate to get his name on the scoresheet this afternoon, took a lovely effort down on his chest before firing in with purpose at Flinders but again the former Pools stopper denied him to tip it over the bar. Pools had more defending to do than was comfortable in the remainder of the game, with former Pools loan man Luke Hendrie causing problems down the right wing. Craig Hignett showed his commitment to the youth at the Club when he introduced Youth Team winger Jack Blackford to the action late in the game for his professional debut. York City battled hard to the end of the game and saw plenty of the ball but there was little to really test Trevor Carson and Pools took the win over the League Two strugglers. Full Time: Pools 2 York City 1 Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll (Richards 76), Featherstone, Woods, Hawkins, Duckworth (Blackford 83), James, Thomas (Oates 69). Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Laurent, Walker, Bingham. York City: Flinders, Hendrie, Winfield, Bennett, Cameron, Summerfield, Dixon (Gilbraith 75), Penn, Alessandra, Oliver (Ilesanmi 37), Fewster (Riordan 82). Subs Not Used: Carson, Thompson, Ingham, McEvoy.