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Club News

Match report: Relegation confirmed

29 April 2023

Club News

Match report: Relegation confirmed

29 April 2023

HARTLEPOOL United have been relegated to the National League, despite finishing their second season back in the EFL with a 3-1 win over Barrow.

Pools needed to beat the Bluebirds at the Suit Direct Stadium and hope Walsall would do John Askey’s men a favour and win at Crawley.

But Crawley v Walsall finished 0-0, confirming the drop for Pools.

It was a spirited finale at home from Pools who fought back after Ged Garner gave Barrow the lead, with goals from Jack Hamilton, Jamie Sterry and Connor Jennings.

Askey made three changes to his starting XI with Nicky Featherstone, Tom Crawford and Jack Hamilton coming in.

His final home selection was as much about who was not in it than who was, with Mo Sylla, Dan Kemp, Wes McDonald and Ollie Finney not in the match-day squad at all, while Josh Umerah was on a six-man bench.

Pools began brightly and had an effort after  54 seconds when Jennings headed over from Jamie Sterry's cross.

For all the start was positive it was Barrow who took the lead in the 21st minute.

Barrow put together some nice football in the home box where Josh Gordon's cross was tucked away by Garner from six yards.

Pools kept pressing forward, but Crawford shot wide from the edge of the area after a nice build-up.

However, Pools were rewarded three minutes before the break.

There was great work from Matty Dolan who had pushed forward and made his presence felt in the away area, where Hamilton finished high into the net at the Rink End.

Soon after, Crawford tried his luck from distance with an unmarked Jennings just unable to get on the end of it, it would surely have been a goal if he had.

Just before the hour, there was a chance at either end.

First, Jakub Stolarczyk saved well from Gordon and then play switched and Ferguson rounded the Barrow keeper but the visitors cleared for a corner.

Paul Farman then made a good save from Callum Cooke’s low shot and Hamilton headed just wide from a corner.

But Pools got the lead their play deserved.

Sterry shaped to cross with his right before bringing it back onto his left and his low-flighted ball in seemed to evade everyone and ended up in Farman's right corner.

There were loud cries for a penalty when Ferguson went down in the Barrow box but there was no interest from red Simon Mather.

Barrow were reduced to to 10 men on 79 minutes when Neal collected a second yellow card in the space of seven minutes after a foul on Ferguson.

Intense late pressure had to pay off and it did as Jennings fired high into the net in the fourth minute of added time.

It was not the end of the drama as a late fracas following a Patrick Brough foul on Cooke.

Brough was booked for the foul and the ‘afters’ and saw red, while goalie Farman was also yellow-carded.

With Gordon having limped off on 87 minutes it meant Barrow ended with eight men.

Pools: Stolarczyk;  Dodds, Dolan, Pruti; Sterry, Featherstone, Crawford, Cooke, Ferguson; Hamilton (Umerah 86), Jennings. 

Subs (not used): Killip, Kiernan, Foran, Darcy, Gray

Goals: Hamilton 42, Sterry 68, Jennings 90+4

Booked: Hamilton 25, Crawford 82

Barrow: Farman; McClelland, Ray (Young 76), Canavan; Whitfield (Newby 67), Neal, Gotts, White (Warren 67), Brough; Garner (Kay 62), Gordon

Subs (not used): Taylor, Braithwaite 

Goals: Garner 21

Booked:  White 59, Neal 73, 79, Brough 90+7, Farman 90+7. Sent off: Neal: 79, Brough 90+7

Referee: Simon Mather

Attendance: 4,551 (away 338 )




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