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Hartlepool United 0 – 1 Harrogate Town

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Town garnered maximum points from their holiday programme with a 1-0 New Year’s Day win  at Victoria Park,Hartlepool.

The only change to Town’s starting line up was on the subs bench,where Mark Beck returned to replace Ryan Fallowfield.

An even first half ended in stalemate with both sides finding it hard to create clear cut chances.

Lloyd Kerry and Jon Stead threatened Pool’s goal with early cross shots,while at the other end,Gime Toure curled a powerful shot from distance, just wide of James Belshaw’s near post.

A Jack Emmett through ball almost unlocked the home defence,but Jack Muldoon’s finish was deflected over the by an Hartlepool leg.

Next to try his luck was Warren Burrell, who tried to cash in on some fine approach play from Emmett and Josh Falkingham,but his shot was blocked  by Gary Liddle.

But it was the North Easterners who finished the half in the ascendancy,with Belshaw having to tip a dangerous left wing centre over his crossbar,and later having to move smartly off his line to beat Toure to a long clearance.

Pools,who were smarting after the two recent defeats to Town,started the second half determined to redress the balance and pinned Town back into their own area.

However, with Will Smith and Connor Hall resolute in central defence,weathered the storm and began to hit back.

Good build up play between Kerry and Falkingham created a chance for Stead,who unfortunately blazed well off target,but on fiftyseven minutes Town struck the decisive blow.

Alex Bradley advanced from full back and his pass found Emmett unmarked on the right flank and he  fizzed a low centre across the goal, which was slid into the net from close range by Stead.

Pools pushed hard for an equaliser and Town had a let off when sub,Mark Kitching’s,centre across goal found no takers,and fellow sub,Luke Molyneux went

close with a shot that narrowly missed the top corner.

It only remained for Town to successfully negotiate four minutes of added time to complete a fruitful holiday.

Town,

Belshaw,Falkingham,Burrell,Emmett(Kiernan 80),Bradley,Stead(Beck 77),Kerry,Muldoon,Hall,W Smith,Diamond.

Unused subs, G Smith,Thomson,Cracknell.

Scorer,Stead 57.

Hartlepool United,

Beeney,Kioso,Raynes,Liddle,Richardson,Featherstone(Hamilton 75),Holohan,Shelton(Molyneux 75),Donaldson,Kabamba,Toure(Kitching 45).

Unused subs,Kerr,Mafuta.                     Booked Toure.

Referee,A Kitchen                               Att.3481 (inc 179 away).




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