HALF-TIME MATCH REPORT: Hartlepool United v York City in Sky Bet League Two

Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett during the Fleetwood Town 2-0 Hartlepool United League 2 game 17-01-2014. Photograph by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett during the Fleetwood Town 2-0 Hartlepool United League 2 game 17-01-2014. Photograph by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United are drawing 0-0 with York City at half-time in their Sky Bet League Two match at Victoria Park.

Pools have had the better of the few chances created in the opening 45 minutes but couldn’t do enough to take the lead at a blustery Vic.

Boss Colin Cooper made two changes to his side with new loan signing Luke Williams going straight into the team.

Left-back Darren Holden came back into the side in place of the suspended Jordan Richards, serving the first of his three match suspension after seeing red in the third minute against Fleetwood Town last weekend.

New loan signing Williams, 20, starts in midfield, after signing from Middlesbrough for the next month, in place of who Jack Compton who dropped down to the bench.

Meanwhile, other new signing Manchester United’s Jack Barmby, 19, the son of former England international Nick, started on the bench.

Both Barmby and Williams are attacking midfield players, also at home on either flank.

Holden started the game at left-back, with captain Neil Austin moving across to his familiar right-back berth.

Marlon Harewood, meanwhile, made his home debut for Pools, up front alongside 19-year-old Luke James, who is the current top scorer with 10 goals.

Cooper had lined Pools up in a diamond formation, with Williams tucked in behind the strikers and Brad Walker pushed out wide, Andy Monkhouse on the left side and Simon Walton lying deep.

First chance of the afternoon went to Pools, when Walker played the ball through to James in the 10th minute but the York keeper Nick Pope spread himself well to block the attempt.

Walker then chances his arm from distance in the 16th minute after the ball broke to the teenager on the edge of the area, after good work from the lively Williams.

Pope was able to easily gather the ball. The York keeper was again called into action two minutes later to tip a curled Monkhouse effort round the post for a corner.

Pools had started the match strongly and actually had the ball in the back of the next in the 18th minute, but Harewood’s close range effort from inside the six-yard box was ruled offside.

The game settled down over the course of the next 15 minutes, with York making an early substitution with Ryan Bowman replaced by Ryan Jarvis in the 30th minute.

Walker then went into the referee’s book for kicking the ball away after Monkhouse had fouled Russell Penn but the resulting York free-kick was dragged well wide of Flinders’ post.

Pools defender Christian Burgess was also booked for a foul inside Pools’ half on Russell Penn, who left the field hobbling but then managed to recovery well enough to run back on.

Josh Carson then flashed a shot just wide of Flinders’ post as The Minstermen pushed forward.

The game was lacking in real chances and quality, with both sides unable to break the other down.

Pools should have gone in at the break one nil up but Monkhouse’s half-volley in injury time flew just wide of the right-hand post past a clutch of players.

The last action of the half saw Keith Lowe booked for a late challenge on James but the referee blew the whistle before the free-kick could be taken.

HALF TIME:

Pools 0 York City 0

Hartlepool United (4-4-2): Flinders; Austin; Holden; Baldwin; Burgess; Walker; Walton; Monkhouse; Williams; Harewood; James.

Subs Not Used: Rafferty; Collins; Franks; Barmby; Compton; Sweeney; Rodney.

Booked: Walker, Burgess.

York City (4-4-2): Pope; Oyebanjo; Davies; McGurk; Coulson; Fletcher; Penn; Carson; Montrose; Lowe; Bowman (Jarvis, 30).

Subs Not Used: Ingham; Smith; McCombe; Platt; Dickinson; Reed.

Booked: Lowe.

Referee: Iain Williamson.

Victoria Park