Marlon Harewood rescues vital point for Hartlepool against Accrington

OPENER: Josh Windass fires home for Accrington.
OPENER: Josh Windass fires home for Accrington.
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SUPER-SUB Marlon Harewood rescued a point for Hartlepool United on a nervy night at Victoria Park.

Visitors Accrington Stanley took a deserved 1-0 lead into half-time courtesy of a fine Josh Windass strike as Pools produced an awful 45 minutes of football.

But it was a different story after the break, boss Ronnie Moore changing personnel and formation before the deserved equaliser came 10 minutes from time, Harewood heading home.

Pools remain third bottom after Tranmere Rovers lost, but relegation rivals Cheltenham Town won.

Lewis Hawkins in for Brad Walker was the only change made by Pools, with Moore sticking with his 3-5-2 formation.

Walker had struggled against York City at the weekend and it was no surprise to see Hawkins in from the start.

It was a nervy start to proceedings at Victoria Park.

Pools looked crippled by nerves in the opening 16 minutes, with the feeling soon spreading to the terraces.

John Coleman’s Stanley, meanwhile, were quick to close Moore’s side down, giving them no time to settle on the ball.

Pools created nothing in the first half hour, a Jordan Hugill attempt blasted high over the bar was the nearest they came.

Stanley, meanwhile, weren’t faring much better as Windass saw his shot sail high into the roof of the Town End after Pools made a right hash of clearing the ball.

Scott Harrison saw his well-hit free-kick blocked by the Stanley wall as Pools grew into the game but still struggled to create.

It was Accrington that took the lead though.

The Pools defence hesitated as Sean Maguire was able to flick the ball to Windass – son of Dean – who hit a well-struck half volley from 20-yards into the top left-hand corner.

It was no surprise to see Moore ring the changes at half-time, Scott Fenwick and Jordan Jones on for Michael Duckworth and Hawkins, with a switch to 4-4-2.

Pools upped the ante and showed far more intent and purpose in the second-half, with Fenwick and Hugill riling the Stanley defence.

There was free-kicks and bookings galore as Pools penned in the away defence.

But crucially they again were struggling to break the away defence down, with Stanley almost doubling their lead on the 70th minute.

Flinders made a fine stop from Pietro Mingola, the ball looping back towards the goalline before Harrison cleared from underneath his own crossbar.

Moore then turned to his subs bench, bringing Harewood on for the disappointing Franks.

And he made an instant impact – getting a powerful header on to the end of a Jordan Jones cross to bullet home from close range.

Harewood had only been on for three minutes.

Stanley sub Seamus McCartan tried his luck with a cushioned volley from inside the area, well held by Flinders.

Fenwick should have won it in added-on time, Austin whipped the ball across to the far post but somehow he lofted it over the bar from less than six yards.

Full-Time: Pools 1 Accrington 1

Pools (3-5-2): Flinders (C), Austin, Harrison, Mirfin, D. Jones, Duckworth (J. Jones, 45), Featherstone, Tshibola, Hawkins (Fenwick, 45), Franks (Harewood, 77), Hugill.

Subs: Maxted, Richards, Nelson-Addy, Walker.

Booked: Harrison (43), Hawkins (45), Fenwick (59)

Scorer: Harewood (80)

Accrington: Davies, Buxton (Liddle, 65), Joyce (C), Jones, Windass (Winnard, 86), Mingola, Hunt, Maguire, Bruna (McCartan, 57), Atkinson, Conneely.

Subs: Warner, Naismith, Gilchrist, Barry, Winnard.

Booked: Bruna, Buxton (59), Jones (59)

Scorer: Windass (39)

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)

Attendance: 4,159 (40 Accrington)