Hartlepool United's unbeaten run in League Two came to end with a 3-1 defeat at Walsall. First-half goals from George Miller and Connor Wilkinson did the damage, and despite Omar Bogle's goal, Miller's second of the day consigned Pools to defeat on the road.
Pools started the game well, with Bogle holding the ball up well and loanees Fletcher and White getting plenty of touches. It was Joe White that had the first shot on goal, but Walsall's 'keeper made sure everything was behind it and the chance passed.
Walsall doubled their lead in the 25th minute. After Bogle was dispossessed on the halfway line, Wilkinson picked up the ball, drove forwards, and smashed a low drive past Killip from the edge of the box.
Pools looked to hit back quickly and Molyneux got a good shot away, but it was down the 'keeper's throat and Walsall could rebuild. Little happened in the remainder of the half, with much of the game lost in the midfield.
The introduction of Joe Grey at half-time helped Pools to get out of the blocks quickly, and Molyneux had an early chance to get a goal back that was dragged wide. 10 minutes later, Pools went as close as they had so far through. Sterry's speculative strike from distance almost caught the 'keeper out, but he was able to adjust and palm the ball behind.
A big chance for Bogle arrived not long later, and when he looked set to score, Donovan made a big block. Minutes later, the striker got his goal. When Fletcher's deflected strike was saved and spilled, Bogle was on hand to prod the ball over the line.
Attendance: 4,760 (372 Poolies)