HALF-TIME: Hartlepool United trailing 1-0 at Plymouth Argyle

Tommy Miller in action against Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
Tommy Miller in action against Tranmere Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United are trailing 1-0 to Plymouth Argyle at Home Park thanks to a 14th minute strike from Marvin Morgan.

The Argyle striker was given too much time and space to turn inside the area before shooting low past the outstretched hand of Scott Flinders.

Chances for the away side were few and far between, with the home side doing the majority of the pressing in the Sky Bet League Two encounter.

Pools boss Colin Cooper made two changes going into the game at Home Park, with Marlon Harewood up front in place of on-loan Middlesbrough striker Charlie Wyke, out after picking up a head injury at Northampton Town in midweek.

The other change saw Jordan Richards come in at right-back for Stuart Parnaby, who hasn’t travelled with the squad.

Harewood partnered Jonathan Franks up front, with support on the flanks from wingers Ryan Brobbel and Jack Compton.

Argyle boss John Sheridan named Hartlepool-born former Pools player Peter Hartley in the home side’s defence.

The home side had the better of the opening chances, with Scott Flinders twice called into making saves.

Argyle’s best chance came in the 7th minute, star striker Reuben Reid who already has five goals to his name this season twice had shots blocked inside the area.

The ball broke free to Dominic Blizzard but his shot was well dealt with by Flinders.

The early pressure from Plymouth finally paid off in the 14th minute through Marvin MORGAN, who was given far too much time and space to be able to fire across Flinders from 10 yards.

It was a smart finish from Morgan, who was playing on the left-wing and had cut in from that position to give them the lead after turning Richards.

The Pools defence looked shaky at times, possibly a hangover from the 5-1 thrashing at Northampton on Tuesday.

Pools did have a sight on goal after 20 minutes, a Ryan Brobbel corner was cut back to the edge of the penalty area but Brad Walker lifted his effort over the bar.

Harewood then showed good strength to nick the ball 30-yards out before sliding in a pass to the on-rushing Brobbel but he couldn’t get enough on it under pressure from Hartley.

The ball going well-wide for a goal-kick.

It is a huge pitch at Home Park and there was plenty of space for both sides to take advantage of on a warm afternoon in Plymouth.

Sheridan’s side had the clearer opportunities and could have gone into the half-time break with more than a one-goal lead.

With 33 minutes on the clock, Lewis Allessandra easily turned Walker on the edge of the area but his effort was comfortably high over the bar.

It was then the turn of Reid to have a sight on goal five minutes later.

He connected well to a left-wing cross from Morgan but his header was wide of Flinders’ left-hand post.

Blizzard then tried an ambitious effort from the edge of the penalty area after connecting with a volley from a Lee Cox cross.

It sailed high over the bar though.

Pools’ best chance of the half came moments before the whistle was blown. Harewood played in Franks but he couldn’t take advantage and Luke McCormick spread himself well.

Franks should have levelled but Pools went into the break losing 1-0.

HALF-TIME: Plymouth 1 Pools 0

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders, Austin, Bates (C), Harrison, Richards, Brobbel, Miller, Walker, Compton, Franks, Harewood.

Subs Not Used: Woodman, Holden, Duckworth, Collins, Jones, Hawkins, Woods.

Plymouth (4-1-4-1): McCormick, Mellor, Hartley, Purrington, Nelson (C), Cox, Allessandra, Blizzard, O’Connor, Morgan, Reid.

Subs Not Used: Bittner, Norburn, Harvey, McHugh, Thomas, Allen, Bentley.

Goal: Morgan (14).

Referee: James Linington (Newport)

Plymouth Argyle, Home Park.