Full time whistle report: Hartlepool beat Cheltenham 2-0 to end 12-match winless streak

Michael Duckworth in action. Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Duckworth in action. Picture by FRANK REID
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HARTLEPOOL United ended a 12-match winless streak with a superb 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town at Victoria Park.

Goals from Scott Fenwick in the first-half and Rakish Bingham in the second secured Ronnie Moore’s first win since taking charge as Pools closed the gap to safety.

The victory - only their second on home soil all season - was well deserved with Pools dominating the play and chances for large periods.

The result, the first win at Victoria Park in Sky Bet League Two since September 6, left Pools seven points adrift of safety.

Moore made two changes with Michael Woods and Scott Fenwick coming in for Matthew Bates and Nicky Featherstone.

Lining up in a more attacking 4-4-2 formation, Fenwick started up front alongside Mansfield Town loanee Rakish Bingham against Paul Buckle’s side.

Bingham made his home debut alongside Reading loanee Aaron Tshibola, playing alongside Woods in central midfield.

It was Pools that had the first openings of the match, Jonathan Franks’ tame effort was easily held by Trevor Carson before Jack Compton’s curling effort flew just wide.

In the 10th minute, Carson was again called into action, diving to his left to save Bingham’s 20-yard curled attempt from the edge of the area.

Skipper Scott Flinders saw his first action a little over a minute later, diving to his left to deny Jack Dunn’s powerful effort after Cheltenham broke at speed.

The home fans should have been celebrating the opening goal in the 23rd minute but Fenwick scuffed his shot from six-yards out after being played in by Woods.

The weak attempt easily gathered by Carson.

There was little else to cheer until FENWICK put Pools in front in the 38th minute - poking home a Compton left-wing cross which flashed across the face of goal.

The players all rushed to celebrate a deserved lead with each other.

Half-Time: Pools 1 Cheltenham 0

Within a minute of the re-start Cheltenham had the ball in the back of the net through Jack Dunn but he was ruled offside to the relief of the home fans.

Pools were quickly back on the front foot, Franks had a shot blocked before Fenwick almost put them 2-0 up in the 56th minute.

A Compton free-kick was deflected off Woods into the path of the former Dunston striker but his shot was blocked by Liverpool loanee Lloyd Jones on the line.

Pools, who had a good shape, didn’t look like a side cast adrift at the bottom of the Football League.

They got their rewards in the 68th minute through on-loan Mansfield Town striker Bingham.

It came from a Cheltenham corner, which Pools cleared to BINGHAM who played a one-two with Woods before racing forward and finishing low past Carson into the corner of the net.

It was a fine finish.

Fenwick almost added a third in the 75th minute but he flashed his shot just wide of the right-hand post after good work from Aaron Tshibola in the build-up.

Jones then had the ball in the net, finishing from close range, but it was ruled offside.

Pools had their tail’s up and Carson had to be alert to save from Franks’ effort from just inside the area as the home side looked to extend their lead.

Cheltenham almost got one back in the 87th minute, Flinders came and missed the ball and Kevin Stewart headed onto the post from the 12-yards out.

Byron Harrison then flicked a header onto the crossbar in the 90th minute but Pools held firm to secure a much-needed vital home win.

There was a mass brawl to end the match, Harrison and Jack Dunn both show yellow cards.

Full-Time: Pools 2 Cheltenham 0

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Duckworth, Harrison, Jones, Austin, Franks, Woods, Tshibola, Compton, Bingham, Fenwick.

Subs Not Used: Maxted, Holden, Bates, Richards, Nearney, Featherstone, Walker.

Goal: Fenwick (38) Bingham (68)

Booked: Harrison (90).

Cheltenham Town (4-4-2): Carson, Vaughan, Brown (C), Jones, Braham-Barrett, Sterling-James (Harrison, 53), Ferdinand, Stewart, Richards, Dunn, Gornell (Williams, 69).

Subs Not Used: Reynolds, Kotwica, Deaman, Hanks, Haworth.

Booking: Stewart (37), Vaughan (54), Dunn (90)

Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland)

Attendance: 3,155 (117 Cheltenham Town)