FULL-TIME REPORT: Pools 0 Colchester United 1

Andy Monkhouse plays the ball wit the the outside of his boot. Picture by FRANK REID
Andy Monkhouse plays the ball wit the the outside of his boot. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United’s home rot continues as they were beaten for the eighth consecutive game at Victoria Park.

It was also a fourth 1-0 defeat on the spin on home soil as Anthony Wordsworth’s first-half strike proved the difference.

Still under the temporary care of Micky Barron, Pools handed a full debut to 18-year-old Jack Baldwin while 17-year-old Luke James came on for his professional bow.

Pools made a positive start and James Poole went close with a fourth-minute lob after Tony Sweeney had sprung clear the young forward.

But it was Colchester who should have taken the lead on 14 minutes when Ian Henderson’s deep cross dropped to the feet of Karl Duguid, only for the midfielder to stab hopelessly wide from just four yards out.

There was another let-off for the hosts moments later when Henderson escaped the attention of all in blue and white to find space at the far post but he, like Duguid, sent a scuffed effort wide of goal.

The U’s did find the target just after the half-hour mark but Scott Flinders was equal to Henderson’s 12-yard poke.

At the other end Ben Williams was called into action soon after when Poole took aim from 18 yards, the visiting keeper blocking the powerful drive before gathering at the second attempt.

But the deadlock was eventually broken on 36 minutes when Wordsworth saw a close-range blast saved by Flinders before scrambling home the loose ball.

Teenager James was introduced at half-time and he soon threatened, whipping a ball across the face of goal without any Pools takers.

But Pools were struggling to break down the stubborn opposition rearguard and they could have fallen further behind when Henderson burst free in the area only to smash over the crossbar.

Andy Monkhouse should, though, have levelled when he steamed onto Evan Horwood’s corner kick but he headed over from inside the six-yard area and that was as close as they came to nicking a point.