Hartlepool United 1 Stevenage 2: Match report, Pools go down in six-pointer

Ronnie Moore
Ronnie Moore
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Hartlepool United's survival hopes took another blow after Stevenage won this six pointer at Victoria Park.

Sub Tom Conlon did the damage against Ronnie Moore' strugglers with two goals in eight minutes.

Billy Paynter in action

Billy Paynter in action

His first, just before the break, was a screamer into Trevor Carson's top left corner with his second a tap-in seven minutes after the re-start into an empty net.

Billy Paynter pulled one back in the 68th minute as Pools made an attempted comeback and Jordan Richards had a screamer saved by Jamie Jones but Pools could not find an eqauliser.

Moore had called for a fast start, but it was Stevenage who were first to show with some early attacks and two corners in the opening 10 minutes.

Pools were indebted to two blinding saves by Carson, the first to his top left kept out Luke Wilkinson's header and the next, low down to his right, denied Tom Pett.

There was little of encouragement for the home fans though Paynter went just over the bar with a lobbed shot in the 19th minute.

James had looked lively enough and after good work down the right he put over a dangerous cross which Dean Wells got clear.

Pools had their first shot on target on 32 minutes, Jamie Jones making a super flying save to his right to keep out Carl Magnay's strike from the edge of the area.

Just as Pools appeared to be finally finding their feet, they fell behind.

CONLON cut in from the right and made serene progress down the edge of the 18-yard box before pulling the trigger, his left-foot shot going into Carson's top left corner.

Half-time:

Pools 0

Stevenage 1

Pools started the second half brightly and won an early corner but the delivery from Richards was too long and high.

Stevenage doubled their lead in the 52nd minute. The home defence stood and watched as Borough played and while Pett's ball was blocked, it dropped kindly for CONLON who tapped home.

It was almost three when Hawkins slipped over in the box but, thankfully, Ryan Hedges shot was blocked.

Moore made an immediate change, withdrawing Hawkins and bringing on Fenwick as Pools went with three up front.

Pools were back in it in the 68th minute as PAYNTER scored on his first start for three months. Magnay found Richards on the right and his cross was put away by the skipper's right boot.

Richards almost had a senstional 74th-minute equaliser when his right-foot volley brought an equally stunning diving save from Jones.

And the right-back was at it again when he teed up Paynter whose shot was blocked on line by Pett.

Moore made a double change on 82 minutes, bringing on Laurent and Bingham for Thomas and Gray.

Pools huffed and puffed but could not force an equaliser.

FULL-TIME:

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1

STEVENAGE 2

Pools: Carson, Richards, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Magnay, Gray (Laurent 82), Hawkins (Fenwick 59), Thomas (Bingham 82), Paynter, James.

Unused Subs: Bartlett, Harrison, Jones, Featherstone

Goal: Paynter 68

Booked: Thomas 75

Stevenage: Jones, Wilkinson, Henry, Wells, Ogilvie, Parrett (Conlon 39), Lee, Keane, Hedges (Cox 82), O'Connor, Pett (Gorman 87)

Unused Subs: Franks, Zanzala, Day, Johnson

Goal: Conlon 45, 52

Booked: Parrett 20, Ogilvie 41, Gorman 90

Referee: Ben Toner

Att: 3308 (away 26)