Hartlepool United 3 Stamford 0: Pools progress to FA Cup second round

Nicky Deverdics.
Nicky Deverdics.

A first home win since April ensured Hartlepool United's name is in the hat for the second round of the FA Cup.

Three second-half strikes from Nicky Deverdics, Jordan Richards and Billy Paynter made sure Pools saw off spirited non-league outfit Stamford.

And in doing so Craig Hignett's men put to bed the unwanted stat of having not won at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium this season.

On the selection front, Matthew Bates was brought back into the side as Hignett made four changes from the side beaten by Barnet last week.

Bates came back in for Scott Harrison, while Richards, Deverdics and Michael Woods also returned to the starting XI.

In terms of possession Pools were dominant in the opening stages, but chances created, at either end, were few and far between.

Richards combined brilliantly with Woods to carve out the first opportunity, which saw the full-back's strike saved low down by Sam Donkin.

Pools went even closer just moments later when Deverdics saw a shot deflect off the bar. Padraig Amond's follow up was also saved by Stamford goalie Donkin.

Josh Laurent then tried his luck from close range having been played through expertly, but Donkin was again equal to it.

Having seen little of the ball Stamford then fired a warning shot across the bows of Pools, Kern Miller hammered wide from the edge of the area, although Trevor Carson looked to have it covered.

Having gone it at the break level, Pools continued to dominate in the second 45.

Amond probably should have netted the game's opener but headed over from four yards, while Richards saw a free-kick well saved by Donkin.

Pools hard work was rewarded in the 65th minute, though, when Deverdics curled a beautiful free-kick up and over the wall. This time there was little the visiting keeper could do about it.

Lewis Alessandra almost added a second when he latched on to a Richards cross, but he could not guide his effort goalwards.

It was 2-0 with eight minutes to play, though. Richards volley from the edge of the area took a heavy deflection off Daniels' defender Delroy Gordon and flew into the back of the net with Donkin wrong-footed. It was no less than Pools deserved.

And the icing was put on the cake with five to go when club captain Billy Paynter nodded home from close range to seal the tie.