Match report- A Good Friday for Pools

Hartlepool United made it 12 games unbeaten with a hard-fought victory over Dagenham & Redbridge. Rhys Oates and Gavan Holohan got the goals as Dave Challinor’s men made it 10 wins out of the last 11 games at The Vic.

Pools had an early shout for a penalty as Armstrong collided with a Dagenham defender, but the defender waved away the protests. A flurry of corners followed, with Shelton’s high volley the only chance coming from the deliveries.

Two more penalty shouts followed for Pools as Featherstone and Shelton made contact with defenders. Both were waved away, but the breakthrough came shortly after. Rhys Oates picked up the ball on the right, drove into the box, and fired a deflected drive under Elliot Justham.

After a good sight of goal for Balanta, Dagenham came more into the game as were level 10 minutes later. Weston beat Ferguson down the right and crossed for Matthew Robinson to head past Killip on his 150th appearance for the Daggers.

David Ferguson then picked up the first yellow card of the game after a late tackle on Vilhete before Oates had another chance deflected behind for a corner. Kilip made a good save to keep the game level and the referee blew for half-time.

The first big chance of the half went to Dagenham, but Balanta could only fire at Killip under pressure from Cass. Pools continued to push, but Oates couldn’t wriggle through in the box. After clipping Robinson, Pools’ Mark Shelton was the second name in the book. He was replaced by Luke Williams shortly after and the former Boro midfielder worked hard to win a free-kick on the right

The resulting free-kick was whipped in by Featherstone and found Holohan in acres of space. The Irishman made no mistake, planting his header beyond Justham and into the back of the net.

Half-chances followed, but the closest anyone came to a goal was Gordon’s bicycle kick that went wide of Killip’s post. Richie Bennett came on to make his debut and had two big chances to get on the scoresheet. First, his header flew over Justham’s bar, before the big man was wrestled in the box by Jones. The referee didn’t see the contact and the chance passed.

The last opportunity of the game fell to the Daggers’ goalkeeper who’d come up for the corner, but Liddle managed to get his head in the way. Pools closed out the game convincingly to continue their good form.

We now travel to Boreham Wood on Monday looking for more points on the road.

Subs: Williams for Shelton, Bennett for Armstrong

Yellow: Shelton, Ferguson.