HALF-TIME MATCH REPORT: NEWPORT COUNTY V HARTLEPOOL UNITED

Colin Cooper at the end of the game against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper at the end of the game against Mansfield Town. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United are trailing to a 6th minute Harry Worley goal away to Newport County at half-time.

Worley rose highest from a corner to head the ball past Scott Flinders and give the home side a 1-0 lead at Rodney Parade in the Sky Bet League Two match.

Pools gaffer Colin Cooper made two changes to his Hartlepool United side for the match.

Jack Compton and Christian Burgess returned to the Pools starting 11 with veteran defender Sam Collins and winger Jonathan Franks dropping down to the bench.

Brad Walker, this week called up to a two-day England Under-18 training camp, started the game on the bench.

It was a frantic start to the game and Pools, who were playing their third game in six days, started slowly against a direct and pacy Newport side.

Buoyed on by a vocal home crowd, Justin Edinburgh’s team took the lead in the sixth minute.

Harry Worley rose highest on the six-yard line to power a header into the corner of the net past Scott Flinders from a Robbie Willmott corner.

Cooper’s side couldn’t get a foothold in the game in the opening stages and several passes went astray and long balls kicked out for throw ins, as Newport continued to push forward.

Pools did have a chance in the 17th minute, right-back Michael Duckworth had a fierce shot blocked and the ball fell to James Poole but his tame effort was straight at Lenny Pidgeley in the Newport goal.

Cooper’s front pairing of Luke James and James Poole struggled to find a way through the Newport back-five, whose full-backs pushed forward at every opportunity.

Adam Chapman in the centre of the Newport broke free in the 19th minute and fired a shot at goal but Flinders was able to get his hands and body behind it.

Then in the 22nd minute, Poole created Pools’ first real chance - testing the goalkeeper from the edge of the area but his goal-bound shot was tipped round the left post by the flying Pidgeley for a corner.

Conor Washington had two good efforts just wide as Flinders’ goal continued to come under the cosh.

The pace of the game rarely settled as the half-wore on but Pools managed to match them in the fitness stakes, if not the possession stakes.

In the 39th minute, Pools survived a penalty shout when Conor Washington was involved in a tussle with Burgess in the penalty area and the home forward went to ground but the referee Stephen Martin waved play on.

The decision infuriated Edinburgh in the home dugout.

There were no other clear cut chances as the referee blew for the half-time break.

Pools: Flinders, Austin (C), Baldwin, Burgess, Duckworth, Dolan, Walton, Monkhouse, Compton, Poole, James.

Subs: Rafferty, Collins, Franks, Sweeney, Richards, Rodney, Walker.

Newport: Pidgeley, Yakubu (C), Chapman, Crow, Willmott, Washington, Jackson, Naylor, Oshilaja, Worley, Jolley.

Subs: Stephens, James, Minshull, Jones, Flynn, Redman.

Referee: Stephen Martin. Assistant Referees: Steven Plane, Mark Pottage.