Hartlepool United 0 Oxford United 1: Match report, Hylton wins it for U's

Ronnie Moore
Ronnie Moore

Hartlepool United suffered their fifth home defeat of the season when promotion-chasing Oxford nicked victory with a single goal.

Pools had the better of the first half, playing some bright, attacking football, with Jake Gray hitting the bar.

But the winner came on 70 minutes from the U's, sub Danny Hylton converting Alex MacDonald's cross with a neat volley.

Pools: Carson, Duckworth, Jackson, Bates, Carroll, Featherstone, Gray (Oyenuga 74), Magnay (Walker 61), Naismith, Mandron, Oates (Bingham 74).

Subs: Bartlett, Jones, Harrison, Fenwick

Booked: Oates 33, Walker 67

Oxford United: Buchel, Baldock, Mullins, Dunkley, Skarz, MacDonald (Rose 90), Lundstram, Sercombe, Roofe, Hoban, Maguire (Hylton 62)

Subs: Slocombe, Rose, Ruffels, O'Dowda, Long, Evans

Goals: Hylton 70

Booked: None

Referee: Seb Stockbridge

Attendance: 3622 (354 away)

Pools were almost off to a dream start when Nicky Featherstone, who came in for Kudus Oyenuga, let fly from 30 yards, his screamer going just wide of Ben Buchel's top right

corner.

Moore had sent Pools out in a 4-1-4-1 formation and it proved a positive move as the side came forward with ambition.

There was another threat at the away goal in the 16th minute, Carl Magnay heading narrowly wide from 15 yards from Michael Duckworth's cross.

Three minutes later, Magnay went down in box after Rhys Oates played in the ball, with half-hearted penalty appeals from fans in the Town End.

It was as good a footballing display as supporters had seen this season.

But Oxford were also a threat. Chris Maguire's shot from outside box looked to be going wide but Trevor Carson saved well down to his right to make sure.

Pools came oh so close to atking a 29th-minute lead, Jake Gray hitting the bar with a left footer from the edge of the area.

It needed some super defence from Duckworth and Matthew Bates at the other end to keep out Liam Sercombe who looked in on goal.

But the rest of the half belonged to Pools, Chey Dunkley making a vital block on Mikael Mandron.,

Pools were all over Oxford and Kal Naismith's low cross into box almost brought a goal but Oxford sacrambled it clear.

Half-time:

Pools 0

Oxford 0

Pools were out of the blocks for the second half with some good possession play before Duckworth charged forward following aneat Featherstone dummy.

The home side ended up with a corner but the U's cleared.

Pools came under pressure with Carson conceding a corner and Oxford pressed, Magnay doing some sterling work in his pown box with head and feet.

Mandron had a glorious 57th-minute chance when he was put clean through on goal, but keeper Buchel came out and saved with his boots.

Pools lost the inflential Magnay on the hour, Brad Walker coming on in midfield.

And the Billingham lad was close to putting Pools ahead when his 30-yard free-kick just cleared the bar.

Oxford remained a danger and Pat Hoban poked a good chance just wide on 65 minutes.

Carson saved Pools twice in the 68th minute, the first from MacDonald's free-kick and the second from the rebound.

Seconds later at the other end, Walker saw a shot from the edge of the box turned away for a corner by Buchel .

But Pools were behind to a super U's goal 20 minutes from time.

MacDonald counter-attacked from half-way and crossed for sub HYLTON who beat Carson with a great volley.

Pools came straight back with Naismith seeing a free-kick charged down and Walker went just over bar from a Mandron lay-off.

Carson saved Pools at the other end with a super stop from Sercombe.

Full-time:

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0

OXFORD UNITED 1