MATCH REPORT: Morecambe 1 Hartlepool United 2

JACK'S THE LAD: Jack Baldwin turns away after putting Pools 1-0 in front away at Morecambe
JACK'S THE LAD: Jack Baldwin turns away after putting Pools 1-0 in front away at Morecambe
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A DRAMATIC injury time goal from Jonathan Franks secured a 2-1 win for Hartlepool United over Morecambe in Sky Bet League Two.

Franks struck with seconds left after Morecambe had pegged Pools back to 1-1 with just three minutes to play.

Baldwin’s header in the 17th minute from a corner had earlier given Pools a deserved lead at the break, his header powering home past the hapless Morecambe stopper.

But the home side hit back through sub Jack Sampson.

Franks was on hand though to fire in a low half-volley from inside the area to secure all three points for Pools in the match at the Globe Arena.

The win was nothing more than Pools deserved after a dominating display and Pools are now 13th, six points off the play-offs.

Pools boss Colin Cooper made two changes with Nialle Rodney coming into the team on the right flank in place of the injured Jack Compton, out with a strained calf, while James Poole returned in place of the suspended Andy Monkhouse.

Youngsters Josh Rowbotham and Lewis Hawkins came onto the bench.

If Pools had drawn it would have equalled a club record of five successive draws in the football league, matching a similar run in the 2000-2001 season.

The first chance of the game came for the home side in the 6th minute, with Andrew Fleming curling a 20-yard effort onto Scott Flinders’ bar.

The Pools keeper would have had no chance had it dipped under at the last minute.

Pools’ 17-year-old Bradley Walker had the first sight of goal for Pools, but his 25-yard low drive dribbled along the claggy pitch and into the hands of Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal.

Andy Parrish then saw his effort deflected onto the right-hand post and away for a throw-in as both sides looked to get in front.

But it was Pools that took the lead in the 17th minute through a Jack Baldwin bullet header from six-yards after a pin-point Matty Dolan corner from the right hand side.

It was an unstoppable header from the centre back.

Pools looked a real danger whenever they broke forward and James Poole and Jonathan Franks were linking up well.

But Franks in particular was unable to whip a cross in quickly enough from the flank on several occasions.

There was a short stoppage in the 27th minute while Flinders had to put a new contact lens in but he was eventually ready to continue.

Poole then fired a 30-yard effort at goal in the 30th minute but Barry Roche was equal to it in the Morecambe goal as he flew through the air to palm it away from goal.

Baldwin also went close from another carbon copy corner but he was unable to make the same contact as the defence cleared.

Cooper’s men were on top for most of the first half and spent the majority of the half camped inside the Morecambe half.

Franks went close in the 40th minute but his low shot towards the near post was saved by Roche and away for another corner.

Morecambe then pushed forward as the minutes ticked down to the half-way but Pools managed to hold firm to go into the break leading 1-0.

Half Time: Morecambe 0 Pools 1

It was an even start to the second half, with Morecambe pushing forward looking to get back into the game and Andrew Fleming and Jack Redshaw looking particularly dangerous.

But Pools again began to pressure the home defence with Poole in particular a constant thorn in their side.

Cooper was urging his team to drive forward at every opportunity and Franks and Rodney continued to prove the Morecambe full backs.

In the 64th minute Pools had their clearest chance to double their lead.

Poole dinked his way forward and had two options, choosing Franks whose low shot across the goal just sneaked past the post.

Luke James was screaming at Poole who wanted the ball playing into him.

Morecambe then had a goalden opportunity to equalise but Kevin Ellison was denied by Flinders who spread himself well to deny the big forward in the 67th minute.

More than 400 Pools supporters were urging the players forward at every opportunity.

Rodney, who started for the first time for Pools, enjoyed a promising afternoon before eventually being substituted for Darren Holden with 15 minutes left to play.

Both sides looked dangerous on the break but it was Morecambe that struck a killer blow with just three minutes left to play.

Substitute Sampton’s scuffed shot from the edge of the penalty area squirmed under the body of Flinders and into the back of the net.

It was a devastating blow to the Pools players who had dominated for large parts of the game.

They almost hit straight back but Franks’ effort crashed onto the bar, off the line and away for Morecambe to break up the other end but Flinders was alert to deny Ellison at the second attempt and keep Pools in it.

That would prove vital as Pools then broke forward and from a Holden-long throw the ball broke to Franks who fired in a low half-volley from the edge of the area to secure the win in the final seconds.

Full Time: Morecambe 1 Pools 2

Pools (4-4-1-1): Flinders, Austin (C), Burgess, Baldwin, Duckworth, Dolan, Burgess, Franks, Rodney (Holden, 77), Poole, James.

Subs Nots Used: Rafferty, Collins, Walton, Sweeney, Rowbotham, Hawkins.

Booked: Austin.

Morecambe FC (4-2-3-1): Roche, Threlfall (Diagne, 79), Kenyon (Mwasile, 74), Hughes (C), Redhaw, Ellison, McCready, Drummond, Fleming, Parrish, Amond (Sampson, 65).

Subs Not Used: Arestidou, McGee, McGowan, Doyle.

Booked: McCready

Referee: Michael Taylor (Sheffield)

Attendance: 2,081 (Pools 424)