HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0 BRISTOL ROVERS 3

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore

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Hartlepool United suffered their second home League Two defeat of the season.

Pools had been looking to back to back home games to make an impression on the top seven.

But they were thoroughly outplayed by Bristol Rovers who led 1-0 at the break through Matty Taylor and added second half goals through Billy Bodin and Jermaine Easter.

Bristol Rovers got off to a good start, forcing two corners in the first couple of minutes.

The first opportunity went to the Pirates, Bodin going wide of Adam Bartlett’s left post in the fifth minute.

Pools responded, briefly, with two corners, but play soon returned to home territory.

The home side were lucky to escape in the 16th minute when Bartlett was unable to hold a Jake Gosling free-kick.

Pools finally showed some danger in the 19th minute when Matthew Bates, Billy Paynter and Rhys Oates combined but keeper Lee Nicholls came out well to claim the ball.

Nicholls was then required to tip over a Brad Walker free-kick in the 27th minute but it was a rare moment of threat.

At the other end, Jake Carroll blocked a Bodin shot but a Bristol Rovers goal was coming.

It arrived 12 minutes from the break. Bartlett saved well from Jermaine Easter but the ball sat up kindly for TAYLOR who scored at the second attempt from inside the six-yard box.

And it was almost 2-0 two minutes later when Rovers got Taylor clear in the box. The striker rounded Bartlett but his left-foot shot came back off the keeper’s left post.

Seconds later, Lee Mansell headed wide from Lee Brown’s cross.

Pools came forward in the final minute with McChrystal scything down Nicky Featherstone on the edge of the box.

Paynter took the free-kick but it hit the wall and went out for a corner.

Half-time

Pools 0

Bristol Rovers 1

Pools had two chances at the start of the second half, Fenwick wide with his right foot after a neat turn and Bates off-target with his left.

Both were well wide but at least Pools are on front foot for the first time.

But Bristol Rovers carved open Pools in the 52nd minute when Taylor got away from Scott Harrison but Walker slid in to win the ball before Easter could shoot.

Pools had a great chance in the 63rd minute when Oates crossed from left but Fenwick headed wide from 10 yards.

That miss was to prove costly as Pools went 2-0 down a minute later.

Pools could not deal with McChrystal’s long ball and BODIN controlled, broke into the box and scored past Bartlett.

Oates then saw a shot blocked by Lockyer while Bristol broke to the other end where Bartlett saved from Easter

Carl Magnay came on for Bates on 72 minutes and was straight into the game, shooting wide of target from outside the box and he tried again in the 76th minute but it was straight at Nicholls.

It was all over in the 78th minute when EASTER scored on his return to the Vic.

Sub Kudus Oyenuga played the ball back and Easter collected and beat Bartlett with ease.

Fenwick had a decent chance seven minutes from time from an Oates chest down but he shot wide of Nicholls’ right-hand post.

Full-time:

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0

BRISTOL ROVERS 3

Pools: Bartlett, Halliday, Harrison, Boyce, Carroll, Bates (Magnay 72), Featherstone, Walker (Oyenuga 63), Oates, Paynter, Fenwick

Unused Subs: Denton, Jones, Nearney, Smith, Hawkins

Booked: Harrison 23, Boyce 82, Halliday 88

Bristol Rovers: Nicholls, J Clarke, McChrystal (Parkes 82), Lockyer, Brown, Bodin (O Clarke 84), Sinclair, Mansell, Gosling, Taylor, Easter (Harrison 78)

Unued subs: Mildenhall, Lines, Lucas, Montano

Goals: Taylor 33, Bodin 64, Easter 78

Booked: McChrystal 45, Harrison 82

Referee: Darren Handley

Att: 3,788