Hartlepool United made it two wins in a row with a 3-1 win over Maidenhead United. Goals from Anthony Mancini, Charlie Seaman, and David Ferguson were enough, even with Casey Petit’s late consolation.
Pools saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges, and the first half-chance fell to Askey’s side. Seaman played Mancini in down the channel, and Ross did well to claim the ball at Dieseruvwe’s feet after a low cross. A long throw from Clerima almost troubled the Pools defence in retaliation, but a foul on Ferguson ended the move prematurely.
Askey’s side continued to press forwards, and many in the ground thought Wreh won a penalty in the 12th minute. However, the flag was raised for offside and Maidenhead restarted the game with an indirect free-kick. Pools continued to apply the pressure, with Mancini showing plenty of good touches in the middle of the park and Seaman providing a threat down the right.
A big chance fell Pools’ way in the 22nd minute. After Crawford kept a corner alive and found Wreh, the forward’s strike flew narrowly wide of the far post. The first shot on target came shortly after as Mancini’s low shot was well held by Ross in the Maidenhead goal.
Onariase and Dieseruvwe both went into the book in quick succession. Onariase was cautioned for a late challenge, while Dieseruvwe played on and scored after a late flag. In the 34th minute, Maidenhead had their first shot on target through Adams, but it was held by Dixon. Pools continued to see plenty of the ball, and Mancini had another sight of goal after quick passes between Cooke, Dieseruvwe, and Wreh.
In six minutes of additional time at the end of the first half, Pools had a great chance through Wreh. Dodds cross looked perfect, but it was just too high for the forward and Maidenhead cleared.
Pools started the second half with intensity, as Ferguson saw a ferocious drive parried by the ‘keeper and a follow up narrowly wide. A few minutes later, Cooke had a go with a long-range free-kick, but he could only graze the top of the net.
At the other end, Maidenhead got a shot away after a short clearance, but Adams’ shot was deflected behind. Dieseruvwe had the ball in the net again in the 54th minute, but he was again flagged for offside. Not long later, Pools got the opener.
After a great run by Dieseruvwe, Wreh picked up the ball and turned the defender. While his shot was initially blocked, it fell kindly at the back post for Mancini to slam the ball into the back of the net. In a flurry, Pools made it two. Neat passing triangles found Seaman on the right, and the wing-back nutmegged the defender, stepped inside, and smashed the ball into the top corner.
Seaman almost had a brace in the 63rd minute. Mancini’s backheel found him in space, and his fierce drive was tipped over well by Ross. The pressure kept coming from Pools, with Wreh almost in a couple of times thanks to flick ons from Dieseruvwe and then Mancini.
Maidenhead got forward sparingly, with Nathaniel-George drawing a save from Dixon with 17 minutes to go and a low cross well cut out by Dodds shortly afterwards. On the counter, Pools almost had a third, but Wreh’s pass was just too far for Cooke to latch onto.
Good link-up play saw Pools threaten again, but Lokko was across in time to stop Cooke’s cross connecting with the onrushing Dieseruvwe. Pools had the ball in the net again, but, for the third time in the match, it was ruled out for offside.
A big chance fell Maidenhead’s way with seven minutes to play as McCoulsky went clean through, but his blazed it well above the crossbar. However, it was Pools that managed to strike again. After Dodds cross was turned onto the crossbar by Dieseruvwe, Ferguson followed in to get Pools’ third.
The introduction of Hastie and Grey gave Pools further legs in the final third, with Lokko and De Havilland often finding themselves under pressure. In late added time, Maidenhead managed to get onto the scoresheet. A ball over the top found Petit and he slid it under Dixon.
Pools XI: Dixon; Seaman, Dodds, Onariase, Lacey, Ferguson; Cooke, Crawford, Mancini (Grey 85); Wreh (Hastie 89), Dieseruvwe
Subs: Jameson, Burton, Paterson
Goals: Mancini (56), Seaman (59), Ferguson (84)
Booked: Onariase (28), Dieseruvwe (30), Mancini (68), Dodds (90)
Attendance: 4,004 (23 Away)