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Match report: Pools defeated

23 April 2022

HARTLEPOOL United’s winless run at the Suit Direct Stadium reached seven games as play-off chasing Swindon Town won at a canter 3-0.

Harry McKirdy scored before and after half-time for League Two’s second top scorers against a depleted Pools with defender Mat Baudry adding a third six minutes from time.

It’s all gone horribly wrong for Pools, who have now lost three in a row at home without scoring a goal.

Michael Nelson again took charge of Pools after boss Graeme Lee tested positive for Covid.

The assistant boss made six changes to the injury-hit Pools side, with Neill Byrne, Gary Liddle and Bryn Morris joining a long list of absentees including Nicky Featherstone and Joe Grey.

Jamie Sterry, Timi Odusina, Mark Sheltron, Martin Smith and Luke Molyneux all came back into the starting XI while there was a return to Pools for Olufula Olomola, who had been recalled this week from his loan spell at Yeovil.

The forward was the lone bright spark to a tepid opening to the contest which pitted 14th v 11th.

And Olomala came close to putting Pools ahead on 22 minutes after some nice play by Omar Bogle, but left-back Ellis Iandolo made a tremendous block.

Seconds later, Bogle sent a low shot towards Lewis Ward’s bottom left corner, only to see the goalie make a fine diving save.

Swindon, with ambitions of sneaking into the play-offs, were being well orchestrated by Jack Payne and came close twice themselves.
First, Jake Hull produced good defensive work to foil Josh Davison and then Ben Killip staved strongly at his near post from Payne.

Louie Barry was then just wide from 45 yards shooting towards an open net after Killip's 'clearance' landed at his feet wide on the left, with the keeper out of his area.

Pools should have been ahead on 40 minutes when Molyneux broke to the by-line but Olomola could not convert from in front of goal.

Sixty seconds later, the Robins were ahead when they broke down the right and Mandelo Egbo’s low ball was superbly side-footed in by McKirdy into Killip’s bottom left corner.

It was almost 2-0 soon after but Barry’s shot came back off Killip’s right post.

Pools did threaten  in injury time when skipper Davis Fergson played in a dangerous cross from the left but neither Bogle nor Molyneux could connect.

A lovely first touch by Molyneux set him up for the first attempt of the second half but his second touch was less sweet, sending his shot into Morrisons carpark.

But it was McKirdy who found the net 10 minutes into the half. 

Payne was the architect this time with the forward finishing neatly at the near post.

He should have had his hat-trick seconds later when he got in behind the home defence but Hull made a great block and from the resulting corner, the Robins number 11 saw a right foot shot saved by Killip.

After that it was too easy for the Robins.

Bogle sent a right-foot shot over the bar in the 63rd minute but that was to be the last home effort at goal as Pools went down meekly.

There was, however, a third Swindon goal as Baudry headed in at the back stick from close in following a corner.

Pools: Killip; Sterry, Hull, Odusina, Ferguson; Shelton (Carver 81), Smith (White 60), Crawford; Olomola, Bogle, Molyneux. Subs (not used): Bilokapic, Ogle, Fletcher

Booked: Ferguson 26

Swindon: Ward; Egbo (Odimayo 58), Conroy, Baudry, Iandolo; Payne, Reed, Williams (Gladwin 78), Barry, Davison, McKirdy (Parsons 66). Subs (not used) Aguiar, Lawson, O’Brien, East

Goals: McKirdy 40, 55, Baudry 84

Booked: Iandolo 36

Referee: Andy Haines

Att: 4,786 (away 465) 


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