Pools Make It Three In A Row

Ryan Donaldson, Barrow v Hartlepool United

Ryan Donaldson’s first goal of the season fired Hartlepool United to their third consecutive victory on a filthy night in Barrow.

With rain lashing down, Pools broke with 20 minutes to go with Gime Toure releasing his skipper on half-way with the Geordie applying a composed finish.

Barrow had much of the play in horrible conditions at Holker Street but were denied countless times by keeper Ben Killip, while Craig Hignett’s side defended magnificently through Fraser Kerr, Michael Raynes and, especially, Aaron Cunningham.

Pools had Killip to thank in the opening half of the first period.The goalie stood out in his garish yellow and pink outfit and how he stood out with his work in the away box.

He was first called upon inside 90 seconds as he stood up well to block Josh Kay who got in behind the Pools defence.

Pools had the linesman’s flag to thank on 10 minutes when Byron Harrison was offside as the Barrow striker tapped into the empty net.

Oliver Dyson – and the home fans – appealed for a penalty as he went down as he shot wide from the edge of the box but referee Savvas Yianni brushed away the pleas.

Killip then came to the fore again with two great saves in quick succession both from the right boot of Rooney.

Rooney’s first effort from the edge of the box was pushed away for a corner and from the well-worked flag-kick he thundered a wind-assisted 30-yarder which the England C international dived full length to his left to turn away for another corner.  

For all the Bluebirds could have been comfortably ahead, Pools had two of the best chances in the first period.

The first came on 25 minutes when Liam Noble played in Ryan Donaldson who drew a good save from Joel Dixon at his near post.

And the skipper was involved nine minutes later as he set up Gime Toure whose left-foot shot went just wide of Dixon’s left stick.

Killip was at it again before and after the break, saving from Kay’s shot from outside the box on 40 minutes and coming out superbly six minutes into the second period to thwart Dyson who looked ‘in’.

Pools began to get on the front foot though Noble’s shot from outside the box was straight at the keeper while Kitching fired over soon after following good play by Toure.

And Toure had a chance to put Pools in front midway through the half after a cracking move between Donaldson and Kioso but Kioso’s right-wing cross was completely missed by the Frenchman whose blushes were saved by the linesman’s offside flag.

But Toure was involved as Pools hit Barrow on the break on 71 minutes. The striker well on half-way to release Donaldson who raced clear to finish past Dixon with great composure from the edge of the box.

Barrow sub Dior Barry shot wide twice in the last 10 minutes from the edge of the away area and in injury time broke through only to shoot tamely straight at Killip.

Sub Nicke Kabamba had the chance to seal the deal in stoppage time but shot wide from close-range but it did not matter as Pools held on for their treble.

Full Time: Barrow 0 Pools 1

Barrow: Dixon; Barry, Hird, Platt, Brough; Rooney (Greaves 31), Taylor, Hardcastle (Waddington 76); Kay (Angus 68), Harrison, Dyson
Subs not used: Brown, Granite 

Booked: Brough 41, Hardcastle 47, Barry 77

Pools: Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes, Cunningham, Kitching, Mafuta, Kennedy, Noble, Donaldson, Toure (Kabamba 78).
Subs not used: Bale, Featherstone, Holohan, James.

Goal: Donaldson 71

Booked: Kioso 81, Kennedy 90

Referee: Savvas Yianni

Att: 1,257 (194 Poolies)