On an evening focused on trialists, Hartlepool United fell to a 1-0 defeat at Tommy Miller’s Spennymoor Town. The Moors were impressive throughout, though Pools’ much-changed squad had good spells throughout thanks to Ogle, Trialist 3, and Trialist 18.
Pools started brightly at Brewery Field with Reagan Ogle impressing down the right-hand side. However, Plan A went out of the window when Trialist 9 pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury. His replacement, Trialist 21, joined Trialist 11 and Luke Molyneux in attack.
The first goal of the evening came in the tenth minute. After Odusina was judged to have felled Ramshaw in the corner, Spennymoor used the free-kick to get the ball into the box. Mulhurn connected with Anderson’s cross and the ball flew past Ben Killip.
Trialist 3 and Molyneux worked hard down the left-hand side, but resolute defending from the Moors repelled Dave Challinor’s men. The closest Pools came to a chance was a header from a set-piece. Smith’s cross found Trialist 6, but his flicked header floated wide.
Spennymoor had two further strikes from distance but neither could seriously trouble Killip.
After half-time, Tom Crawford and Trialist 18 replaced Trialist 11 and Trialist 8, and it was Trialist 18 who had the first clear chance for Pools. After Killip did well to turn over Mulhurn’s long-range free-kick, a wicked cross from Ferguson was headed into the side-netting by Trialist 18.
Minutes later, Trialist 18 thought he had his fifth goal in two pre-season games. The ball was in the net, but the assistant referee had already flagged for offside.
The introduction of familiar faces saw Pools take more control of the game, but few chances followed as we approached the final 15 minutes.
Spennymoor had a big chance to double their lead, but the ball was blazed over from around the penalty spot.
A big chance for Pools came with just over 10 minutes left. Josh MacDonald found Holohan on the edge of the box, but his half-volley went narrowly wide of the Trialist goalkeeper’s left-hand post.
Ramshaw had another chance for the Moors, but Odusina did enough to prevent him from advancing. A corner followed, but Pools stood firm again.
A late flurry of activity got Pools fans’ hearts racing, but Trialist 3’s cross was cleared away and Trialist 18 could only drag a low shot wide.
Pools continue their pre-season campaign away to Gateshead on Saturday.
First Half XI: Killip, Ogle, Byrne, Trialist 6, Odusina, Trialist 3, Trialist 8, Smith, Molyneux, Trialist 11, Trialist 9 (Trialist 21, 10th Minute)
HT Subs: Trialist 8 Off, Crawford On / Trialist 11 Off, Trialist 18 On
Final 30 XI: Trialist 13, MacDonald, Odusina, Liddle, Trialist 3, Ferguson, Shelton, Crawford, Featherstone, Holohan, Trialist 18