Hartlepool United 4 Crewe Alexandra 0: Alessandra, Amond, Thomas on target

Lewis Alessandra puts Pools 1-0 up. Picture by FRANK REID

Lewis Alessandra puts Pools 1-0 up. Picture by FRANK REID

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Lewis Alessandra scored twice as Hartlepool United ran riot against Crewe Alexandra.

The midfielder netted at the end of a nervy first half before sub Padraig Amond doubled the lead 19 minutes from time.

Alessandra bagged his second in the 85th minute with Nathan Thomas putting the icing on the cake in stoppage time.

Pools made a lively start with Thomas having the first shot of the night which ended up in the Rink End.

There were some bright moments from the boys in blue, but Crewe were dangerous on the break, with Alex Kiwomya very pacy.

Midway through the half, George Cooper shot straight at Joe Fryer from 18 yards after a rapid Crewe counter-attack.

Alex were enjoying a purple patch and an offside-looking James Jones screwed a shot wide from eight yards when he looked 'in' on goal.

Thomas fired over again soon after as the contest became end to end.

But Crewe were the more dangerous team and they went oh so close on the half-hour when Jorden Bowery's deflected shot rebounded off Fryer's right post.

For all Alexandra's danger, it was Pools who snattched the lead 20 seconds from the interval.

Thomas released Oates down the left and when Crewe could not clear, ALESSANDRA turned to score from 12 yards,

Half-time:

Pools 1

Crewe 0

Pools almost made it two goals in three minutes when Walker showed skill on half way before finding Thomas on the left.

He came off his wing and beat two men and his right-foot shot went just wide.

There was an escape for Pools in the 55th minuyte when skipper George Ray was wide with free header from a Cooper free-kick from the left.

Pools were indebted to Fryer three minutes later when he made a great save diving to his right from Bowery from the edge of the box.

The hosts then put together a neat move, only for Oates to spoon his effort high, wide and not very handsome.

However, Pools did double their lead thanks to AMOND'S12th goal of the season.

The striker had been on the pitch for 10 minutes when he produced some good skill to beat keeper and score from a narrow angle.

Fryer came to the rescue in the 76th minute when he made a brilliant low save to his left from Bowery's left-footer.

But Pools were not finished, with ALESSANDRA bagging his second fivre minutes from time.

Crewe made two great blocks but it was a case of third time lucky as the forward smashed in from eight yards.

And there was a fourth in the first minute of stoppage time.

THOMAS skinned the full-back down the by-line and found trhe net from an acute angle.

FULL-TIME

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 4

CREWE ALEXANDRA 0

Pools: Fryer, Richardson, Walker, Harrison, Donnelly, Featherstone, Woods (Hawkes 90), Alessandra, Thomas, Oates (Hawkins 90), Rooney (Amond 61)

Unused Subs: Bartlett, Martin, Hawkes, Smith

Goals: Alessandra 45, 85; Amond 71; Thomas 90

Booked: Oates 88

Crewe: Garratt, Turton, Ray, Nugent, Bakayogo (Ng 74), Cooke, Jones, Bingham, Kiwomya (Kirk 74), Bowery, Cooper (Ainley 74)

Unused Subs: Richards, Wintle, Pickering, Finney

Booked: Bakayogo 69, Ray 85

Referee: Richard Clark

Att: 3,043 (away 95)