FULL-TIME: Hartlepool United go bottom of Sky Bet League Two after 3-0 defeat to Carlisle United

Colin Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID
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LOUD boos rang out at the final whistle as Hartlepool United went bottom of League Two after a 3-0 defeat at home to Carlisle United.

The visitors ran Pools ragged in the second-half scoring three times after the break to climb above Pools and send Colin Cooper’s side bottom.

It was a miserable afternoon at The Vic and the angry home supporters showed their feelings against the manager and owners at a tense Victoria Park.

Carlisle - who started the day bottom - enjoyed the better chances in the first-half but couldn’t find a way past Scott Flinders but they found their scoring boots after the interval.

Pools fell behind in the 54th minute, Steven Rigg with a close range shot after a long throw wasn’t dealt with.

Further goals from Stephen Elliott and Mark Beck confounded the misery.

Under pressure Cooper had made two changes with Harewood and Darren Holden in, with the injured Jack Compton missing and Jonathan Franks on the bench.

Harewood partnered top scorer Charlie Wyke up front for third-bottom Pools against bottom-side Carlisle with Holden left wing.

There was no return to Victoria Park for Antony Sweeney, the midfielder left the club in the summer to sign for Carlisle.

But he missed out today with a shoulder injury.

Pools, shooting towards the Rink End in the first-half, started with intent and Holden was quick to pick up a loose ball on the left wing.

He burst into the box before cutting it back to Brad Walker on the edge of the area but his well-struck shot was blocked.

Three minutes later and Steven Rigg was almost in for Keith Curle’s Carlisle.

A lack of communication between captain Matthew Bates and Scott Flinders almost saw Rigg sneak in before Bates poked the ball out for a corner.

The best chance for either side came in the 10th minute, dangerman David Amoo with a cross from the right-wing towards Rigg, whose downward header from six-yards was just about scooped up by Flinders.

It was a lively start but it was the away side looking the more dangerous and creating the clearer chances.

For the second time in a week Pools could have been two down in the opening 15 minutes.

Carlisle defender Troy Archibald-Henville was booked by referee Darren Bond in the 16th minute after the second clinical foul on Wyke of the match.

Bond played on before eventually booking the centre-half.

Pools grew into the game but too many passes were going astray in good positions at a nervy Victoria Park.

The 25th minute saw Pools produce some good build-up play which eventually saw Michael Duckworth whip in a cross from the right wing.

The ball bounced off a Carlisle defender and Wyke just couldn’t quite arch his head to make a better connection with the ball.

In the space of 30 seconds Danny Grainger was booked for a foul on Ryan Brobbel and Holden for a rugby tackle on Amoo by referee Bond, who was having a good game and letting play flow.

Busy Carlisle midfielder Kyle Dempsey then flashed a shot wide of Flinders’ left stick on the half-hour mark.

The ball spent a fair bit of its time in the Pools penalty area, with the away side looking far more likely to open the scoring.

Pools, on the other hand, barely mustered a shot on target with Cooper’s men lacking in goals and confidence.

That was until the 41st minute when a lovely chipped ball from Miller found Wyke inside the area, he nodded it down to Harewood who shot just inches over the bar.

It was a good effort and the best Pools had mustered all half.

There was a lengthy stoppage moments later to allow Neil Austin to get treatment after taking a heavy knock to his head inside the area. He was fit to carry on though.

The sides went into the break goalless.

Half Time: Pools 0 Carlisle 0

Holden was hooked at half-time, with Franks coming on at left-wing but Pools were under the cosh from the whistle.

Brad Potts waltzed through central midfield before teeing up Rigg, whose curling effort was just wide of the right-hand post.

Flinders then had to be alert to firmly block Potts’ shot in the 48th minute.

Moments later Harewood then found himself in a good position to cross towards Franks at the far post, he took a touch before his fierce shot was saved by Dan Hanford.

Pools were then dealt a killer blow in the 54th minute.

A long Grainger throw from the left-hand side wasn’t dealt with properly, it was flicked on by Mark Beck and RIGG wriggled free to poke the ball home and send the away fans into delirium.

A couple of travelling supporters ran onto the pitch but they were quickly dealt with as the pressure and atmosphere cranked up a further notch.

Mid-way through the second-half Cooper turned to Michael Woods, with the former Leeds and Chelsea youth player coming on for the ineffective Walker.

There was a change to the formation too, with Woods playing at the tip of a diamond.

Pools struggled to create chances though until Woods forced a save out of Hanford with a scuffed shot in the 75th minute.

Then two minutes later Woods saw another shot hit the heel of White and onto his hand but the referee waved away the appeals.

Harewood then forced a smart low save from the Carlisle keeper before a deflected Duckworth effort was just nodded over the bar by White to deny Pools an equaliser.

It was better from the home side.

But the clincher came in the 82nd minute when Carlisle doubled their lead.

A cross from Grainger to the far post was prodded back across by Beck to substitute Stephen Elliott who fired the ball home from the edge of the area to seal the win.

It got worse for Pools in the 89th minute, Beck prodding the ball home from a few yards out after good work from Dempsey inside the area.

This is far too easy for the away side who had turned Pools over in the second half.

Wyke was clean through in the final minutes but lofted his effort over the crossbar to sum up Pools’ afternoon before the referee brought proceedings to a close.

It was a miserable day all round as Pools went bottom of the Football League.

Full Time: Pools 0 Carlisle 3

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders, Duckworth, Harrison, Bates (C), Austin, Brobbel, Miller, Walker (Woods, 67), Holden (Franks, 45), Wyke, Harewood.

Subs Not Used: Woodman, Richards, Jones, Collins, Hawkins.

Booked: Holden

Carlisle (4-4-2): Hanford, White, Archibald-Henville, Thirlwell (C), Grainger, Amoo (Dicker, 58), Potts, Dempsey, Brough (Paynter, 81), Beck, Rigg (Elliott, 69).

Subs Not Used: Caig, Gillies, Symington, O’Hanlon.

Booked: Archibald-Henville, Grainger.

Goal: Rigg (54) Elliott (82) Beck (89)

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)

Attendance: 3,927 (829 Carlisle)