Analysis: Hartlepool United v Bournemouth, Wembley is going to have to wait

Adam Bartlett saves from Lee Tomlin for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth. Picture by FRANK REID
Adam Bartlett saves from Lee Tomlin for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth. Picture by FRANK REID
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Wembley will just have to wait.

It’s back to the bread and butter of League Two after sampling the caviar of the Premier League last night.

Quality is a word bandied about football willy-nilly but in Bournemouth’s case, it sums them up to a T.

Sadly, there was to be no Capital One Cup upset for Pools last night as Bournemouth produced a masterclass of football.

If Pools are going to Wembley this season it was always going to have to be in the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy – which gets under way next Tuesday with a first round tie against Sheffield United – or , more plausibly, the League Two play-offs.

On the subject of League Two, this Saturday’s visit of Carlisle United was always going to be THE big game for Pools this week.

Last night was a little treat, if a four-goal going over by a high-class side can be described that way.

There was no shortage of effort from the Pools team – you would be worried if that happened.

Pools were short on skill, speed and movement, as you would expect.

But, as Ronnie Moore pointed out to the media afterwards, Pools are not going to come up against a Bournemouth in the league this season.

So if Pools can recreate the same spirit, play with the same discipline – they did keep their shape but were just outplayed – and show more composure in the finishing department then they should be competing in League Two.

Eddie Howe made 11 changes to the away team which gained the Cherries their first top-flight win at West Ham on Saturday.

But he still started with six players who were in the squad at West Ham including the full-backs, Adam Smith and £8-million Tyrone Mings, and strikers Yann Kermorgant and Lee Tomlin.

Quality is a word bandied about football willy-nilly but in Bournemouth’s case, it sums them up to a T.

From the first two minutes when Christian Atsu cut in from the right-side of the area and thundered a left-foot shot against Adam Bartlett’s crossbar, you knew this would be a tough night.

Pools were defending well, with Rakish Bingham spending more time in his own half than in away territory.

And while Bartlett made a good diving save to his left from Junior Stanislas to keep the scoreline blank in the 26th minute, it seemed a matter of time for the Cherries found the net.

The first away goal arrived on the half-hour.

Gosling and Stanislas opened up the Pools defence allowing Kermorgant to stroll in and sidefoot past Bartlett from eight yards.

It was 2-0 inside four minutes. This time it was Mings, Stanislas and Lee Tomlin combining superbly to find Gosling, who collected just outside the box, advanced a couple of yards and fired an excellent shot low past Bartlett into the keeper’s right corner.

Stanlislas went just wide in the 37th minute and four minutes later, Bartlett dived full length to his left to save Atsu’s long-range bullet.

But the keeper was beaten for the third time in the 44th minute. Michael Woods conceded a free-kick just outside the area which Stanislas curled into Bartlett’s top right corner. Even the home fans applauded.

Pools started the second half with Scott Fenwick on for Billy Paynter and was straight into the action at the away end and had a shot blocked by Smith.

There was an attempt at goal from Pools on the 50th-minute mark though Andrew Boyce’s header was collected easily by Adam Federici from a Jake Carroll free-kick

But the goal under threat was the one guarded magnificently at the Town End by Bartlett who denied Tomlin and Stanislas with Oates blocking an effort from Atsu.

Full-backs Duckworth and Carroll did superbly to keep out Tomlin but a fourth goal was inevitable.

It came from the lively Stanislas, the ex-West Ham winger scoring with ease from close range following a great reverse pass by Atsu.

Moore immediately made a double change, bringing on Brad Walker and Connor Smith.

Pools kept plugging away and they saw some play in Cherries territory.

Bingham had a shot charged down by Mings and Walker’s free-kick from a central position 25 yards was tipped over by Federici.

Bingham went agonisingly close to a consolation goal in 81st minute following a Duckworth cross, only to see his shot go inches wide of Federici’s right stick with the keeper beaten.

And Duckworth was at it again to find Bingham four minutes later, but Federici saved at his near post.

Pools were finishing the tie well but they looked destined not to score.

That was emphasised when Magnay served up a chance on a plate for Bingham, who fluffed his lines when he miss-hit his shot which tricked tamely to Federici.

Even if the Cherries had half-switched off knowing the job was done, it was still an impressive and spirited finale by Pools to create a number of chances against a top side.

If they can do it against a champagne side, roll on the bread and butter. Starting this Saturday against Carlisle United at Victoria Park.