Hartlepool 2-0 County

27 Jan 2020 02:17
Published by: Scott Callan

The Hatters’ first contest with Hartlepool on the North Sea coast in a decade saw them return home from Victoria Park empty-handed, after a goal in each half for ‘Pools’ earned the points.

County took to the field in front of a lively crowd representing the two former Football League rivals, and with just the one change from the initial line-up at Edgeley Park against Sutton United seven days previously. But it was an eagerly-anticipated and well-received one – involving as it did the immediate inclusion in the starting 11 of Danny Lloyd, following his return earlier in the week, on loan from Salford City, for a second spell at County. Another recent arrival, Liam McAlinden, was the player to make way and named among the substitutes.

The contest on the pitch was also quite lively from the outset, albeit without a great deal of action in either final third until nearly a dozen minutes had passed – whereupon Ben Hinchliffe was called into action. County’s Number One dived at full stretch to parry away Gavan Holohan’s low shot from the edge of the box, before Aidan Keena fired beyond the left post on the rebound.

Holohan drilled another effort beyond the opposite upright, and forced Hinchliffe to keep out a third attempt, as the Irish midfielder individually, and Pools generally, put County under a spell of pressure. But with 18 minutes on the clock, the Hatters almost scored an opener when home goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney fumbled an Adam Thomas cross from the right – allowing Lloyd to direct a header towards goal that on-loan debutant Macauley Southam-Hales deflected behind.


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