Wimbledon 2 Hartlepool United 0: Scott Fenwick makes Pools impact
Scott Fenwick made a difference to Hartlepool United when he came on at Wimbledon – and may have played his way into the starting XI for the FA Cup clash with Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
Fenwick, a 67th-minute sub for an ineffective Rakish Bingham, improved Pools immeasurably.
He put the Wombles defence, who had enjoyed an armchair ride, under pressure and even went close from a corner.
Fenwick was one of only three players to emerge with any credit, along with keeper Trevor Carson and defender Matthew Bates.
“I was pleased with Scotty when he came on,” said boss Ronnie Moore. “He held the ball up well and brought people into the game.
“Before he came on, every time the ball went up front it didn’t stick and came straight back.
“The only time it stuck was when Scottycame on and then we had one or two little efforts and openings.
“If it doesn’t stick then the pitch becomes too big and it becomes impossible for the midfielders.
“Batesy was a leader out there, he was outstanding.
“Magnus coming off didn’t help, but Batesy did well – without him I don’t know what we’d have done.
“He’s defended and headed it away and he’s even lost a tooth from a smack in the face.
“Trevor is a good keeper, there’s no doubt about that, he’s shown that with the saves he’s made.
“But the last 25 minutes of the first-half was as poor as we have been.”
Pools did improve a little in the second half and were much better after Fenwick’s arrival.
Moore was grateful to referee Lee Collins for not sending off Jake Carroll after the Irishman committed two ill-judged tackles but was unhappy at the award of a Wimbledon penalty and the failure of the official to point to the spot after Nicky Featherstone went down in a Womble sandwich 10 minutes from time.
“The penalty was ridiculous,” said Moore after Lyle Taylor fell to the deck after losing the ball to Kudus Oyenuga, who had pulled off a good tackle.
“How that was a penalty I’ll never know?
“If anything was a penalty it was the one we should have had and he’s not given it.”
But Moore added: “Jake has been lucky, he could have been sent off. He was booked and then could easily have had another. We were pleased about that.”