HARTLEPOOL United’s bad run on the road continued with a 2-0 defeat at Stevenage.
Pools, now without a win in five awaydays, were sunk by goals from Jamie Reid and Elliott List as Boro won for the first time since mid-August.
Reid’s 21st-minute stunner put Boro on their way with List’s fifth goal of the season just 31 seconds into the second half giving Alex Revell’s side their first win in eight.
Pools had the better of the first-half play and went close on 13 minutes but Luke Molyneux’s header from an Eddie Jones cross landed on top of the net rather than inside it.
Molyneux was at the hart of the away threat and it required some excellent home defending to thwart the forward who then teed up Matty Daly whose goal-bound shot was blocked, while Nicky Festherstone and Mark Shelton also had attempts blocked.
But Pools would fall behind when Featherstone lost possession 35 yards out, with Jake Reeves finding Reid, who controlled superbly before unleashing a stunning left-foot shot into Ben Killip’s top-right corner.
Reid was almost at it again seven minutes before the break when some great footwork opened up a shooting chance only for Luke Hendrie to make a goal-saving block.
Stevenage were denied in first-half stoppage time by a brilliant double save by Killip from List, but there was nothing the keeper could do 31 seconds into the second half when the striker was put through to finish into the goalie’s bottom left corner.
It should have been 3-0 when List danced his way to the by-line only to see Elliott Osborne sky his chance.
Dave Challinor, ‘celebrating’ his 46th birthday, made a double change, bringing on Will Goodwin and Mark Cullen for Shelton and Mike Fondop.
It put a spring in Pools step with Goodwin just off balance as he skied a chance at the back post from Jamie Sterry’s cross.
But the initial impetus faded though Jones had a long-range shot saved by Joe Anang and Goodwin saw an injury-time header flash inches wide