Analysis: Hartlepool off to the perfect start but tougher challenges lie ahead

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore
Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore

So far, so good then, for Hartlepool United.

A 2-0 win, a clean sheet and more importantly strikers Billy Paynter and Rakish Bingham are up and running.

Ronnie Moore couldn’t have asked for anymore from his side on the first day of the new League Two season on a warm day at Victoria Park.

Pools were on their game straight from the off, playing a 4-3-3 formation that surprised fans and Morecambe alike, given they had played 3-5-2 all pre-season.

It worked well, with all of the forward play going through Paynter up front, who led the line well, wearing the captain’s armband.

Moore wants to see him lead from the front and he worked hard all afternoon, nodding Pools in front while also setting up Bingham for the second.

It was a delightful little dinked chip over the Morecambe defence, which put Bingham clear and he made no mistake from close range.

Paynter wasn’t signed for his Messi-esque creative play but he certainly showed the Pools support there is far more to his game than simply holding up play and taking knocks from the opposition defence.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, mind.

Morecambe were the better side after the break and Pools were left exposed on several occasions as the players got used to the 4-3-3 system.

But it was a dogged and determined performance and the end result was a relatively comfortable 2-0 win.

With all the changes off the pitch during the summer, it was vital Pools started well on it.

They didn’t disappoint and Moore will be hoping they can build on this ahead of a tough and busy week, away to Fleetwood Town in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

And then a trip to rivals York City next weekend.

Harder tests lie ahead but the initial signs are positive.