Hartlepool 0 Blackpool 1: Pools penalty miss proves costly

Lewis Alessandra.

Lewis Alessandra.

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A late missed penalty from Lewis Alessandra ensured Mark Cullen's solitary strike consigned Hartlepool United to yet another home defeat.

Cullen's effort, in the 63rd minute, came out of the blue at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

With Pools on the attack a simple long ball caught the home backline napping.

And totally against the run of play, forward Cullen broke free to slot past Trevor Carson and into the far corner.

Rather than crumble, as in recent weeks, Pools, looking to build on their creditable 0-0 draw at promotion-chasing Portsmouth last week, kept their shape and resolve.

And their persistence was rewarded in the 83rd minute when a cross from the right was handled in the area by Tom Aldred and referee Geoff Eltringham had no hesitations in pointing to the spot.

Confidently Alessandra, the last player to score for Pools more than a month ago, stepped up but hit his shot high into the Town End, almost putting it out of the ground.

And with that, Pools fell to yet another home loss, this time - unlike Cambridge - without the defensive capitulation.

That's now 450 minutes of football since Pools hit the back of the net.