Hartlepool United are left hoping

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JOHN Hughes will again be hoping for favours from elsewhere this week knowing that Hartlepool United could be relegated by the time they take on Brentford on Saturday.

Despite their win at Tranmere Rovers, Pools will be demoted to the bottom tier should Oldham Athletic take maximum points at home to Yeovil Town tomorrow night.

And should The Latics fail at that task, they could yet seal Pools’ fate on Saturday afternoon when they entertain Crawley Town, meaning Hughes’ men would enter in to their televised clash with The Bees at 5.20pm knowing they are headed for League Two.

“We could find out our fate on tomorrow night,” said the Scot, “So all we can do is hope. We won’t be giving up. We want to finish the season on a high and keep winning games.”

Victory at Prenton Park was achieved thanks to Neil Austin’s first-half goal, the full-back following in to turn home the rebound from Simon Walton’s missed penalty.

But Pools had Scott Flinders to thank for preserving their three points, the goalkeeper saving spectacularly from an Andy Robinson penalty on 57 minutes.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Holmes, Taylor, Gibson, Bakayogo,Bell-Baggie (Thompson 61), Palmer, Power, Robinson (O’Halloran 83),Sidibe (Stockton 61), Akpa Akpro. Subs Not Used: Mooney, Goodison, Harrison, Kay. Booked: Gibson, Power.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Holden,Franks (Sweeney 74), Walton, Baldwin, Monkhouse, Humphreys,James (Rutherford 87). Subs Not Used: McHugh, Horwood, Luscombe, Hawkins, Boagey. Booked: Monkhouse, Rutherford. Goals: Austin 10. Att: 4,721 Ref: Lee Collins (Surrey).