HARTLEPOOL United came from behind to halt a run of three straight defeats as James Poole struck twice in a 3-2 win at Chesterfield today.
Mick Wadsworth was forced into one change from the side which was beaten by Wycombe Wanderers seven days ago, Nathan Luscombe coming for the injured Antony Sweeney.
But the visitors made a shaky start and it came as no surprise when the hosts went ahead on 10 minutes, Danny Whitikaer’s low pull-back turned in by Leon Clarke from 12 yards.
The leveller arrived in freak fashion seven minutes later when the Spireites could only half clear a deep free-kick into their danger zone.
The ball bounced free to the edge of the area where Paul Murray launched his slight frame to connect and the midfielder saw a 20-yard header loop over all and drop inside the net.
Within two minutes they were in front and it was a goal to remember.
Poole twisted one way and then another 25 yards out before deciding to take aim at Greg Flemming’s goal, and it was a choice he didn’t regret, the ball burning beyond the forlorn stopper before nestling in the bottom corner.
And Pools could have stretched their lead before the interval, Andy Monkhouse going close with a 30-yard lob, which Flemming smuggled over, and Poole drawing wide of the target when he should have done better.
But the former Man City youngster made no mistake three minutes after the restart for the second half, storming onto Evan Horwood’s expert centre to head home from five yards.
It was end-to-end stuff and the hosts duly hit back within three minutes.
Pools failed to clear from a high free-kick and centre-back Dean Holden scrambled in from close range.
But Wadsworth’s men refused to retreat in a bid to protect their slender lead and came close to a fourth through both Poole and Horwood.
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Wright, Luscombe (Brown 63), Liddle, Murray, Horwood, Poole (Nish 78), Monkhouse (Humphreys 90).
Subs n/u: Rafferty, Boyd.