HALF-TIME: Pools two up on bottom club

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Pools made a bright start and had an opportunity just 22 seconds into the game.

Jonathan Franks swung over an inch-perfect cross for Andy Monkhouse, whose header from 15 yards went just wide of Marcus Bettinelli’s left-hand post with the keeper beaten.

Monkhouse looked a threat in the Stanley box and centre-half Robert Atkinson made a vital header from Jack Compton’s cross just as the number 11 looked in a perfect position.

Pools were lively enough early on and Christian Burgess’s ball for Luke James was just too high for the forward.

And James was inches away from putting Pools into a 19th-minute lead.

The diminutive striker raced on to a Franks through ball only for his shot from the edge of the box to go inches wide of the keeper’s right-hand post with Bettinelli beaten.

Accrington had shown little in the home half and the sum of Scott Flinders’ work was to collect the ball from fans in the Town End after skipper Luke Joyce and fellow midfieldere Kal Naismith had fired long-range efforts into the crowd.

A goal finally came and it arrived at the Rink End on the half-hour.

Monkhouse, in a central position, looked in a good position to shoot but, unselfishly, laid the ball to FRANKS, whose angled 12 yard drive beat Bettinelli and nestled in the goalie’s right-hand corner.

Stanley had a great opportunity to level five minutes before the break in a move involving both full-backs.

Peter Murphy put over a brilliant cross from the right but left-back Tom Aldred’s header into the ground from six yards bounced harmlessly over Flinders’ bar.

And Accrington were made to rue that missed chance as Pools doubled their lead in the 42nds minute.

Compton, Matty Dolan and James combined superbly down the left and the ball broke kindly to MONKHOUSE who finished with aplomb with his left foot from 15 yards.

Half-time

Pools 2

Accrington Stanley 0