Dave Jones looks on as Rodney strike sees Hartlepool beat Rotherham

Kenton Richardson leads a Pools attack
Kenton Richardson leads a Pools attack

Dave Jones saw his second Hartlepool United victory inside four days as the club’s reserves won their final group game in the Central League Cup.

Recent acquisition Devante Rodney’s first-half strike was the only goal as Pools beat Rotherham United at Maiden Castle.

Having watched the 2-0 League Two success against Stevenage from the Cyril Knowles Stand, the new Pools boss was positioned by the perimeter fence at the training ground in Durham as the second string saw off the Millers.

Jones was joined by assistants Kevin Cooper and Alex Armstrong, plus development coach, Sam Collins, who was caretaker boss for the weekend’s win over Stevenage.

The quartet will have been encouraged by what they witnessed as the side, led by Ian McGuckin, held the edge throughout without being able to translate their superiority into further goals.

Pools went close in the fifth minute when Jordan Richards’ corner fell for Kenton Richardson but the youngster, who was named by Collins in the squad against Borough on Saturday, found the side-netting instead of the back of the net.

Rodney then threatened when he was set up by the speedy Jake Orrell but his effort was beaten away by keeper Laurence Bilboe.

Rotherham had an opportunity when Akeel Francis was sent clear but his attempted lob over teenage keeper Ryan Catterick was off target.

However, the hosts were soon on the attack again when Bilboe somehow kept out a good header from Nicky Deverdics at the far post.

There was no shortage of chances, at either end, and another opening came the way of Francis only for the forward to shoot over the bar.

Orrell then jinked his way through the Millers rearguard only for Bilboe to produce a fine save low down. But Pools were not to be denied seven minutes before the interval.

Not surprisingly, Orrell was at the heart of it, seeing his shot kept out by Bilboe only for the alert Rodney to convert the loose ball.

Deverdics saw a header rebound off the bar, before teeing up Richards whose shot was kept out by the goalie. After the break, Josh Hawkes was narrowly off target, while sub Connor Smith was just wide from range.

Rotherham thought they were set to equalise late on when sub Reece McGinley got away from the blue defence to find Francis but the striker was denied by a stunning Catterick save.

Bilboe continued to keep his team in it when he thwarted Richardson after good play by Richards.

And the away stopper was at it again in the dying moments after saving from Hawkes following a deft flick from Smith. But there was no denying Pools as Jones got to see another deserved victory from the team in blue.

Pools: Catterick, Richards, Martin, Skidmore (Elliott 56), Wise, Pollock, Richardson, Deverdics, Rodney (Smith 46), Hawkes, Orrell. Subs not used: Dudzinski, Assenso, Turnbull.