Final whistle match report: Burton 4 – Hartlepool 0

Scott Fenwick in action. Picture by FRANK REID
Scott Fenwick in action. Picture by FRANK REID
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RONNIE Moore was watching on from the stands as managerless Hartlepool United were thumped 4-0 away at Burton Albion.

The ex-Tranmere Rovers boss has been strongly linked with the vacant manager’s job and was at the Pirelli Stadium to watch the Sky Bet League Two match.

He won’t have been impressed though as Pools slumped to their 14th league defeat to leave them six points adrift with a goal difference now of minus 24.

Alex MacDonald gave the home side the lead in the 45th minute, curling in a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Just 22 seconds after the re-start and MacDonald had his second, capitalising on some awful Pools defending.

Shane Cansdell-Sherriff and Stuart Beavon completed the rout.

Pools - under caretaker boss Sam Collins - were looking to bounce back from the humiliating FA Cup defeat to Blyth Spartans last time out.

The away side broke with purpose in the 7th minute of the match, Dolan sweeping the ball out wide to the onrushing Holden.

The left-back eventually got the ball back from Brad Walker inside the area but he couldn’t get a shot away.

Captain Scott Flinders then had to be alert, a Phil Edwards cross deflected off the back of Holden and looped high in the air towards the near post, the stopper steady enough to catch the ball comfortably in the end.

The first attempt on target came in the 20th minute.

Stuart Beavon swivelled inside the area but his powerful low shot was straight towards Flinders.

Dolan then saw a whipped free-kick from 25-yards fly just wide of the right-hand post of Brewers stopper Jon McLaughlin before Morris’s low shot from distance was easily held by Flinders.

Robbie Weir teed himself up for a half volley which he then unleashed inches wide of Flinders’ right-hand post in the 37th minute.

Burton, who had been building pressure, struck right on the 45 minute mark through Alex MacDonald.

Pools failed to deal with the ball on the edge of the area, MACDONALD picked it up and curled a shot past the diving Flinders off the post and in.

Half Time: Burton 1 Pools 0

It took all of 22 seconds for Burton to add a second.

MACDONALD, played in by Beavon, was given too much time and space just inside the penalty area to shoot low past Flinders.

Burton were fired up and could smell blood and had two further chances to extend the lead shortly after - Morris shooting from distance before Edwards screwed a shot wide when in a good position inside the area.

Collins wasn’t wasting any time making his subs, Michael Woods had come on at half-time for Jack Compton and in the 63rd minute Harewood was hooked for Scott Fenwick.

Two minutes later and it was 3-0.

Beavon fizzed in a shot which Flinders did well to get a finger-tip to and turn it round the post for a Morris corner, from which Shane CANSDELL-SHERRIFF flicked home a header at the near post.

In the 69th minute it was 4-0, BEAVON working an opening before firing low past Flinders and into the corner of the net.

Pools never got started in the second-half and in truth it could easily have been far more than 4-0.

Thankfully for Pools Hasselbaink took the opportunity to bring off Beavon and MacDonald ahead of the busy festive season as the away side whimpered to their 14th league defeat of a miserable campaign.

Full Time: Burton 4 Pools 0

Burton (4-4-2): McLaughlin, Edwards, Cansdell-Sherriff, Mousinho (C), Weir (Palmer, 82), Beavon (Knowles, 72), MacDonald (Harness, 77), Blyth, McCrory, Morris, Lenihan.

Subs: Matthews, Taft, Sharps, Knowles, McGurk, Harness.

Goals: MacDonald (45, 46), Cansdell-Sherriff (65), Beavon (69)

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders, Richards, Holden, Austin, Bates, Walker (Green 68), Featherstone, Dolan, Compton (Woods, 45), Franks, Harewood (Fenwick, 63).

Subs: Maxted, Hawkins, Lanzoni, Ironside.

Booked: Austin (38) Green (87)

Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey)

Attendance: 2,474

Twitter: @RichMennearJP