MATCH REPORT: Blyth Spartans 1 Hartlepool United 3

Callum Hassan turning away after scoring against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID.
Callum Hassan turning away after scoring against Blyth Spartans. Picture by FRANK REID.
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HARTLEPOOL United recorded their second victory of the pre-season campaign with a 3-1 victory at Blyth Spartans.

Both teams made a sluggish start to proceedings at Croft Park, with neither side taking control of the game.

However, on 20 minutes, a long ball was well held up in the Pools box by former Gateshead striker Graeme Armstrong, who turned neatly before finishing from eight yards.

Less than a minute later, Pools were level. A Ritchie Humphreys cross from the left was nodded down by captain Paul Johnson allowing teenager Callum Hassan to finish smartly on the turn.

The goal seemed to spur Mick Wadsworth’s side on, with Jordan Richards and Nathan Luscombe dictating the play from the middle of the park.

The quality of possession paid off in the 26th minute after a fantastic interchange between Richards and Colin Larkin allowed Poole to slot under the advancing Spartans goalkeeper from 10 yards.

Pools continued their dominance in the second half and secured a two-goal deficit in the 53rd minute.

A long Humphreys throw-in was only half cleared by the Blyth defence and when the ball fell to Poole on the edge of the box, his drive took a wicked deflection, ending up in the roof of the net.

It was a fantastic workout for Wadsworth’s fringe and younger players who impressed with this assured win.

SEE Thursday’s Mail for full report/ reaction/ pictures