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Club News

Match report: Three points at The Suit Direct

21 January 2023

Club News

Match report: Three points at The Suit Direct

21 January 2023

SECOND-half goals from Josh Umerah and Jack Hamilton fired Hartlepool United to a 2-0 victory over Rochdale and out of the League Two relegation zone.

A closely-fought affair turned Pools’ way on 50 minutes when Rochdale went down to 10 men after Ethan Ebanks-Landell was sent off.

A man up and with their tails up, Pools struck twice with goals by Umerah and Hamilton after Jake Eastwood had made saves for Dale, who ended their visit to town with nine players.

Victory in the six-point basement battle at the Suit Direct Stadium moved Keith Curle’s side up to 22nd, two points above the bottom two.

Great work by Dave Brown and his groundstaff ensured the 23rd v 22nd contest was one of only three League Two games to beat the big freeze.

Boss Keith Curle handed a debut to former Brentford defender Edon Pruti, who was on the left of a back three, with Peter Hartley in the middle and Dan Dodds on the right.

There was a welcome and timely return from Jamie Sterry at right wing-back.

Matty Dolan teamed up with Nicky Featherstone in the centre of the park with Joe Grey playing just off the front two of Josh Umerah and Jack Hamilton.

It was something of a nervy first 45 from Pools, who needed some last-ditch bodies-in-the-way defending to prevent Olu Seriki from putting Dale in front and needed some luck as Devante Rodney headed wide from a glorious chance at the Town End.

Dale were the more lively and fluent side in the first half and went close when Danny Lloyd was inches wide of Ben Killip’s night stick with a left-foot shot from distance.
Lloyd had another go on 25 minutes but Killip dived to his left to save the midfielder’s free-kick comfortably.

There was little threats from Pools with Grey miles wide after a promising home attack.

Rochdale had another sight of goal at the end of the first half, but the unmarked Max Taylor headed tamely at Killip.

The match turned five minutes after the break when the all-action Hamilton went into a full-blooded challenge for the ball with Ebanks-Landell.

It looked six of one and half a dozen of the other, but referee Marc Edwards reached into his back pocket for a red card and ordered off the Dale skipper.

Four minutes later, Pools were ahead.

Sterry drove in a shot which fell to Hamilton who brought a brilliant save from Eastwood but the rebound fell to Umerah, who slotted in the loose ball.

And it became 2-0 on 64 minutes when Hamilton got the goal he deserved.

The crowd cried "shoot" when a Dale clearance came to Dodds 30 yards out. The defender obliged with Eastwood's save only falling as far as Hamilton who scores from 12 yards.

Rochdale boss Jim Bentley rang the changes but for all the yellows kept trying, they could not threaten the home goal.

Pools comfortably played out time and were able to get Mouhamed Niang back into action as a 75th-minute sub.

Dale’s miserable second half continued at the start of injury time when sub Sam Graham, who had already been booked, chopped down Dodds and received a second yellow card and saw red.

Pools: Killip; Dodds, Hartley, Pruti; Sterry, Featherstone, Dolan (Niang 75), Ferguson; Grey (Hastie 85),  Umerah, Hamilton

Subs (not used): Boyes, Tumilty, Sylla, McDonald 

Goals: Umerah 54, Hamilton 64

Booked:  Hartley 36, Sterry 59, Pruti 87

Rochdale: Taylor, Landell, John (Quigley 60); Seriki, Keohane, Lloyd, Kelly, Odoh (Sinclair 82); Rodney, Henderson

Subs (not used): O'Donnell, Campbell, Diagouraga

Booked: Graham 67

Sent-off: Landell 50, Graham 90+1

Referee: Marc Edwards (Att: 4,353, away 285)

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