Hawkins Double Helps Pools To Victory
Two stunning goals from Lewis Hawkins and one from Nathan Thomas saw Pools win away from home for the first time since October as Barnet were swept aside at The Hive.
Hawkins lashed home an incredible equaliser after Fumnaya Showmotun had put the hosts ahead and the midfielder struck again before half time to send Pools in 2-1 at the break.
Nathan Thomas then opened his account for the Club with a sweet finish just after the hour-mark to secure a valuable three points on the road.
With Matthew Bates returning from a back injury, Craig Hignett opted to pair him with new signing Rob Jones in the centre of defence while Adam Jackson remained at home nursing a thigh injury.
Hawkins came in to the centre of midfield after producing another bright cameo appearance in the second half at Bristol Rovers, while Michael Woods and Dan Jones were both back on the bench.
It became clear early on that the pitch would cut up fairly badly but Nathan Thomas evaded the bobbles to drift inside from the right to fire the afternoon’s first effort but he just didn’t get enough whip on his left-footed strike and it went wide of the upright.
However, on ten minutes in The Bees showed their sting when Showmotun managed to pick a way past the Pools defence before prodding a neat finish in to the top corner, leaving Trevor Carson with no chance.
The goal lifted the hosts and they began to dominate possession, showing why only Northampton Town have won more on home soil across the whole division so far this season.
But Pools continued to carry a threat on the break and this was highlighted when Luke James escaped the attentions of former Pools man Michael Nelson to go through on goal but his low shot was excellently blocked by Barnet keeper Jamie Stephens.
However, the home stopper had no chance on 32 minutes when Jake Carroll cut the ball as the hosts looked to counter; it rolled across the path of Hawkins thirty yards from goal and the young midfielder unleased an explosive first time drive which sizzled past Stephens and found the top corner.
It was a stunning way for Hawkins to score his first-ever professional goal – but there was more to come from the all-energy midfielder just minutes later when he scored again.
This time there was more culture about it as Billy Paynter flicked the ball on to James who turned to pick out the excellent Carl Magnay on the right. The full-back clipped a perfect ball on to the thigh of Paynter who had gone in to the box and he turned out and laid it along the edge of the eighteen-yard area where Hawkins arrived and curled it with his right instep beyond the despairing dive of Stephens.
The home crowd was stunned but the good travelling contingent of Pools fans were enjoying their first trip to The Hive – and it could even have got better before the break when Paynter steam-rollered through the Barnet defence to feed Jake Gray but Nelson got across in the nick of time to clear the danger.
Pools had drawn their hosts’ sting and they rarely threatened to get back in the game as Hignet’s men controlled the second half at The Hive.
And they got their reward for more fluent attacking play when Carroll fed a terrific ball through for Thomas and he cut inside to the box and curled a wonderful shot past the keeper and in to the corner of the net for his first Pools goal.
The confidence was flowing through the Pools team and they were passing the ball around freely, creating chances and looked capable of going on and getting more goals.
Carroll came close to providing one when he attempted to catch the keeper out by shooting from a long-range free-kick but it just crept past the post and wide.
Bees boss Martin Allen turned to his bench and it was two substitutes who combined to produce their best effort on goal; Luke Gambin crossed and Mathew Stevens headed on goal but Carson got down to his left to save.
Pools could have rubbed salt in Barnet’s wounds in the closing stages when James scampered clear on hallway only to be brought down cynically from behind by Sam Muggleton, a challenge would could easily have seen a red card but the ref reached for a yellow.
It mattered little for Pools though as they celebrated an excellent and well-deserved three points in front of their buoyant travelling fans at full-time.
Full Time: Barnet 1 Pools 3
Booked: Magnay (80)
Barnet: Stephens, Yiadom, N’Gala, Nelson, Johnson, Shomotun, Randall (Muggleton 54), Togwell (Gambin 61), Weston, Roberts (Stevens 54), Akinde.
Subs Not Used: Champion, McKenzie-Lyle, Sesay, Pearson.
Pools: Carson, Magnay, R Jones, Bates, Carroll, Featherstone, James, Gray (Woods 75), Hawkins (Walker 87), Thomas (Oates 78), Paynter.
Subs Not Used:Bartlett, D Jones, Richards, Fenwck.