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Match Reports

Match Report: Pools Extend Home Winning Run

2 September 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: Pools Extend Home Winning Run

2 September 2023

Hartlepool United made it four wins on the spin at the Suit Direct Stadium when goals by Tom Crawford and Mani Dieseruvwe set up a 2-1 success over Wealdstone.

Victory keeps John Askey’s team a point behind National League pacesetters Barnet and ensured Pools ended a difficult week on a high following season-ending injuries to Dan Dodds and Anthony Mancini.

Crawford stroked home the opener on 11 minutes with Dieseruvwe heading in the second in the 68th minute.

Sub Tarryn Allarakhia pulled one back 17 minutes from time to give the Londoners hope, but Pools defended bravely at the death to cling on for three vital points.

Boss Askey made three changes for Pools, with new signing Lee Hendrie, back at the Suit Direct Stadium for his third spell at the club, Brody Paterson and Pete Jameson coming into the starting XI.

Jameson came in for his first start between the sticks with Joel Dixon moving down to the bench, while Hendrie, on a long-tern loan from Bradford City, filled the right-side centre-back slot.

David Ferguson took the left centre-back position in the absence of the injured Alex Lacey, which brought Paterson into the side as left wing-back. And Paterson featured heavily in the early attacks as Pools played fluid attacking football from the off.

He was involved as Pools took an 11th-minute lead via the left boot of Crawford. Paterson played a low ball into the box, where Joe Grey laid the ball back to the midfielder who scored low into the net from a central position 18 yards out.

It was the cue for a half of constant Pools pressure, though no goals.

Crawford had another opportunity blocked by team-mate Mani Dieseruvwe, while wing-backs Charlie Seaman and Paterson fired wide and Callum Cooke was denied by the feet of Jed Ward when he found himself one-on-one with the Stones keeper.

There was precious little for the visitors in their black and white kit, with Nathan Ferguson sending a 40th-minute shot from outside the box whistling over the crossbar.

Dominant Pools should have doubled their advantage in the fourth minute of first-half added time, only for Dieseruvwe to have his shot blocked.

The hosts came close to a second in the 49th minute when Grey let fly from 25 yards with his shot looking destined for the top corner until Ward dived high to his left.

Wealdstone had a rare run forward soon after when sub Allarakhia was brought down just outside the box, but Ashley Charles fired over from the free-kick.

The Stones had upped their game and it needed a tremendous save from Jameson to thwart Tahvon Campbell before Jack Cook headed just past Jameson’s right stick.

Askey made a double change on 63 minutes with Josh Umerah coming on against his former employers and Ollie Finney making his first appearance of the season in place of Cooke.

Pools finally added a second when Ferguson hung a lovely hight cross from the left which Dieseruvwe headed past Ward. It gave the hosts a timely shot in the arm and they threatened a third.

But it was the visitors who got the next goal and it was a terrific effort as the lively Allarakhia’s shot from just outside the area squeezed in off Jameson’s left-hand post.

Stones boss Stuart Maynard sent on Olufela Olomola and the former Pools forward almost brought his team level, only for Jameson to make a spectacular save high to his right.

It set up a strong finish from the Londoners who pushed hard for a leveller and it required a magnificent last-ditch tackle from Manny Onariase just when it seemed sub Corie Andrew was set to pull the trigger.

Skipper Jack Cook grazed the home crossbar in the second minute of over seven minutes of stoppage time, but Pools stayed strong for their fifth win from seven and their fourth on the belt at home.

Pools: Jameson; Hendrie, Onariase, D Ferguson; Seaman, Crawford, Wallace (Burton 83), Cooke (Finney 63), Dieseruvwe, Grey (Umerah 63). Subs (not used): Dixon, Hastie

Goals: Crawford 11, Dieseruvwe 68

Booked: Onariase 75

Referee: Aaron Bannister

Attendance: 4,072 (away 115)

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