Billy Paynter so close to a double in Leytopn Orient 0 Hartlepool United 2

Billy Paynter slides in to put Pools in front. Picture by FRANK REIDBilly Paynter slides in to put Pools in front. Picture by FRANK REID
Billy Paynter slides in to put Pools in front. Picture by FRANK REID
Billy Paynter set Hartlepool United on their way to their fifth away win of the season with his 13th goal of the season at Leyton Orient.

But the skipper was frustrated that he was not celebrating his 14th goal in Pools colours at Brisbane Road.

Paynter’s expert piece of poaching in the 49th minute put Pools ahead with Nathan Thomas sealing the 2-0 win 20 minutes later.

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The 31-year-old striker got on the end of a Jake Carroll cross to find the back of the home net – but he had already beaten Alex Cisak in the 44th-minute with a superbly-taken header, only for the ‘goal’ to be chalked off for offside.

“It was tight, but I thought strikers are supposed to get the benefit of the doubt these days?” smiled the forward.

“So when I scored in the second half, I had a little look around at the lino before I started celebrating.

“It was a well-worked goal, I had the easiest job in the world to stick that in. It was the perfect ball in, any sort of contact and it was a goal.”

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Paynter thanked Carroll for his delivery, but added he thought it was a timely assist from the in-form left-back.

“It was a great ball in,” he said. “Jake Carroll has that quality to get forward and do that – my question to him is why hasn’t he been doing it before?

“It was an easy task for me to put it in.”

If the first goal was good to watch, the match-clinching second was even better – Thomas leaving the Orient defender for dead before thrashing the ball past Cisak.

It followed a subtle tactical change at the interval when boss Craig Hignett moved Luke James to Paynter’s left and Thomas to his right.

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“The gaffer switched it, he said, a bit like Barnet, Nathan could score coming off that wing and he did,” said Paynter, who thought Pools could easily have had a third in the dying seconds but for an unconvincing Michael Woods ‘finish’.

“It was a good away performance,” he said.

“They like to play through the pitch hut we forced them to go long.

“We kept composed, moved the ball around well and could have had a third at the death but we may be had the wrong man on the end of it!”