Hartlepool United fell to defeat on the road at Newport County ran out 2-0 winners at Rodney Parade. Goals from Omar Bogle and Micky Demetriou gave County all three points in John Askey’s first defeat as Pools boss.
The first chances of the game fell to Newport, but Bogle’s shot was saved before Evans’ half-volley flew well over Stolarczyk’s crossbar. Pools had their first chance moments afterwards, but Cooke’s cross-shot just evaded Kemp at the back-post.
Evans had another chance after a long-throw into the box, but Murray got in the way and the ball was cleared for a corner. The first goal came not long after, and it was a familiar face that got it. Another long throw came into the box, and Omar Bogle managed to hook it into the far corner through a crowd of bodies.
Bogle had another chance moments later, but Stolarczyk did well to parry it away for a corner. Euan Murray left the action early after a knee injury, and Newport continued to have the lion’s share of the possession in the opening half-hour.
Despite Pools seeing more of the ball towards the end of the half, Newport doubled their lead before the interval. The ball fell kindly to Demetriou in the box, and the Exiles skipper slid it beyond Stolarczyk.
After the break, Pools committed bodies forward, with Kemp and Cooke looking to get on the ball as much as possible. Ferguson had a low shot blocked as Pools looked to hit back, before Sylla fired a chance wide at the front post.
The introduction of Ollie Finney and Wes McDonald gave Pools a boost, with the former’s cross just evading the far post. Bogle had another chance as Pools pushed forwards, but he dragged the half-volley wide under pressure from Pruti.
Hamilton and Crawford also entered the action with just over 15 minutes to go, taking the place of Umerah and Sylla. Pools kept pushing, with Featherstone’s low drive being turned behind by Drysdale’s block and Ferguson’s corner narrowly evading onrushing blue and white shirts at the back post.
Pools had a huge chance with five minutes to go as Dodds pulled the ball back to Hamilton a few yards out, but his effort was blocked on the line and it remained 2-0 to the hosts.
The match finished with a flurry of corners for Newport, and Pools now look to Tuesday’s match at Salford.
Pools XI: Stolarczyk; Dodds, Murray (Foran 27), Pruti, Ferguson; Sylla (Crawford 74), Featherstone, Cooke (McDonald 62); Kemp (Finney 62), Umerah (Hamilton 74), Jennings
Subs: Killip, Kiernan
Attendance: 4,521 (269 Poolies)