Defeat For Pools At Accrington
As promised by Sam Collins before the game, Pools burst into life here this evening and pressed from the off.
With plenty of movement around the box, Pools looked lively going forward but the first chance of the game came at the other end of the pitch as Scott Flinders was forced to save an early freekick.
Michael Duckworth had Pools’ first chance of the game on seven minutes after good work by Michael Woods but his driven effort from 20 yards out saw the keeper at full stretch but flashed wide.
The busy James Gray was next up to try his luck on goal but his strike swept across the face of goal and out at the far post.
And, as Accrington edged their way on top, Flinders pulled off another save, this time from Sean Maguire who had forced his way through to shoot on goal.
With 21 minutes on the clock Accrington marked their improvement with the opening goal; it was a great individual effort from Shay McCartan who pushed forward from half-way to lift the ball over Flinders and into the top of the net to make it 1-0.
The hosts enjoyed a spell of pressure following the goal, looking a danger going forward while Pools struggled to create anything to really test Jesse Joronen.
But Pools played a patient game and found themselves working more at the right end of the pitch, with Wyke and Woods combining nicely inside the box before the latter saw his effort tipped over the bar by the keeper.
And, with the half nearing its end, Pools were on top again and when Ryan Brobbel floated a freekick into the box from the left, Matthew Bates met it just right to glance past Joronen and equalise on 42 minutes.
With Pools lively, they looked set to go in level at half time at the least but a needless freekick concession just outside of the area set up a second goal for the hosts in added time.
While the freekick was deflected out, Accrington made more of the corner as Rob Atkinson rose highest inside the box to power home a header and make it 2-1 going into half time.
It was a disappointing end to the first half for Pools in the end but Collins had his team back out looking positive for the second forty-five.
John O’Sullivan had a chance for the hosts with a strike from the right but his effort went across the face of goal and out of play at the other side.
New loan signing Matt Crooks came on at the interval and the Huddersfield man was quick to get involved for Pools in his role up front.
Crooks burst through on goal, using his strength to push in but his shot was blocked out to the in-running Brobbel who also saw his effort from a good position blocked by a defender and trickle through to the keeper.
Pools continued to plug away, with Michael Woods looking lively and Sam Collins freshening things up with the introduction of Jonathan Franks and Connor Smith and there was plenty of possession around the Accrington goal.
Smith opened things up with a twisting run on the edge of the box but his final shot was blocked over the bar by a pile of red shirts. And, while Smith saw that effort and a couple that followed blocked out, the young striker was showing a positive approach and was doing enough to work the home keeper.
Accrington though were happy to soak up any pressure and, when they began to pass it around themselves, they created their third goal.
It looked a little too easy for the hosts as they pushed forward into the box where Shay McCartan was on hand to push the ball past Flinders for his second of the night to make it 3-1 on 78 minutes.
Pools failed to really create anything else to test the home defence this evening, with Accrington content with sitting back on their two-goal lead and waiting for the whistle.
And so it finished 3-1 to the hosts, with Pools having now lost successive league games going into Saturday's visit to Cambridge United.
Full Time: Accrington Stanley 3 Pools 1
Booked: Harrison (45)
Att: 947 (109 Pools)
Accrington Stanley: Joronen, Joyce, Aldred, Winnard, McCartan (Hatfield 80), Gray (Carver 74), O'Sullivan, Maguire (Barry 63), Molyneux, Procter, Atkinson.
Subs Not Used: Simpson, Windass, Mingoia, Bowerman.
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Austin, Harrison, Jones, Miller, Brobbel (Franks 57), Bates, Hawkins (Smith 64), Woods, Wyke (Crooks 46)
Subs Not Used: Woodman, Richards, Green, Walker