MATCH REPORT: Hartlepool United 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Colin Cooper
Colin Cooper

HARTLEPOOL United secured a hat-trick of consecutive home league wins after a 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park.

James Poole was on hand to give Pools a deserved 12th-minute lead after good work from Luke James and Michael Duckworth presented the opportunity for the lively forward.

But the dangerous Daggers began to flex their muscles and equalised in the 56th minute through Zavon Hines’ sublime curled effort past the despairing dive of Scott Flinders.

Colin Cooper’s side regained their lead in the 79th minute when Andy Monkhouse leapt highest to head home Matty Dolan’s deep corner in front of the Town End.

It was enough to secure another three points on home soil after previous victories over Plymouth Argyle and AFC Wimbledon.

Cooper had named an unchanged starting 11 for the Sky Bet League Two match against the Daggers at a chilly Victoria Park.

The Daggers, who started the afternoon in eighth, were unbeaten on the road since the end of August as Pools looked to get back to winning ways after the five-match winning run came to an end at Scunthorpe United last weekend.

Winger Jonathan Franks retained his place for the suspended Jack Compton, while Poole and James were again tasked with leading the line for Pools.

Dangerman Rhys Murphy, with eight goals so far this term, started up front for Dagenham & Redbridge who had made the journey from East London.

Pools started the brighter and looked inventive with Andy Monkhouse and Matty Dolan combining well in the early stages.

In the 11th minute Pools were denied what looked like a certain free-kick on the edge of the area.

On-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Dolan was played in by Andy Monkhouse but he was bundled over by Jack Connors yet the crowd and Dolan looked bemused as the referee waved play on.

But it didn’t matter as within a minute Pools had taken the lead.

Duckworth broke free down the right hand side and his low scuffed shot hit Luke James on the way to goal, he took a touch before sliding it past keeper Chris Lewington towards the left-hand corner.

A sliding James Poole was on hand to smash the ball home to give Pools a deserved lead.

Cooper’s side looked eager to make amends for the 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe the week before and the week’s rest certainly looked like it had done them good.

In the 23rd minute Poole went for a ‘worldie’, taking advantage of Lewington’s poor clearance to try a volley from around 35-yards out but it dipped high over the top of the cross bar.

Simon Walton then had a fierce drive from the edge of the area stopped by the Daggers keeper after a corner routine involving Dolan.

Scott Flinders was called into action in the 25th minute, diving to his right to palm away a right-footed shot from Daggers winger Medy Elito after he broke through the Pools ranks.

James was once again proving to be a nuisance for the away defence and he was unluckily awarded a foul against him after taking control of a Flinders goalkick just before the 30-minute mark.

In the 34th minute, the Daggers almost equalised through Zavon Hines but his calm effort from 10-yards was cleared just in front of the goalmouth by Jack Baldwin, with the ball probably going just wide of the post.

The Daggers then started to show why they were unbeaten away from home since August with some good periods of play but Pools, defending deep, held firm.

Luke Howell shot wide of the left-hand post in the 42nd minute as the temperature began to dip at Victoria Park.

Monkhouse was booked in the 45th minute for a rash and late challenge on Medy Elito but the resulting free-kick from near the corner flag came to nothing.

Colin Cooper’s side managed to maintain their shape and discipline and go into the break leading by one goal to nil.

It was a scrappy start to the second half from both teams and it was Pools that were made to pay.

In the 56th minute former West Ham United youngster Zavon Hines cut inside on the right-wing past two Pools defenders and curled a left footed strike past Flinders.

The Daggers almost doubled their lead in the 60th minute but Neil Austin was alert to the danger and blocked Abu Ogogo who looked odds on to score after being put in by Murphy, who should have gone alone.

Duckworth then had a chance to put Pools back in front but his effort was blocked by Lewington who dived to his left.

Christian Burgess and Walton were booked for Pools as the home side started to lose their grip on the game.

Antony Sweeney was brought on for James Poole - sporting a cut on the head from an earlier challenge - in the 67th minute as Colin Cooper looked to regain the momentum and it almost came off three minutes later.

Sweeney did well to win the ball in the air and lay it off to James but his mid-air volley from near the penalty spot was well wide of Lewington’s post.

Pools regained their lead in the 79th minute thanks to an Andy Monkhouse header from a deep Matty Dolan corner.

Monkhouse leapt highest to head home past Lewington from the in-swinging corner to send the home fans into raptures.

Flinders did well to hold onto a strong drive from a Billy Bingham free-kick in the 85th minute to maintain the slight advantage as the clock ticked towards the 90-minute mark.

Cooper’s side did enough to hold on to the lead and to win three more valuable points.

Hartlepool United: Scott Flinders, Michael Duckworth, Jack Baldwin, Christian Burgess, Neil Austin (C), Jonathan Franks (Darren Holden, 79), Simon Walton, Matty Dolan, Andy Monkhouse, James Poole (Antony Sweeney, 67), Luke James (Jordan Richards, 86).

Subs Not Used: Andy Rafferty, Sam Collins, Nialle Rodney, Bradley Walker.

Booked: Monkhouse, Burgess, Walton, Austin.

Dagenham & Redbridge: Chris Lewington, Scott Doe, Brian Saah, Billy Bingham, Medy Elito (Afolabi Obafemi, 89), Abu Ogogo, Rhys Murphy, Gavin Hoyte, Luke Howell (Chris Dickson, 81), Jack Connors, Zavon Hines.

Subs Not Used: Luke Wilkinson, Oluwafemi Ilesanmi, Josh Scott, Sean Shields, Jordan Seabright.

Booked: Hines.

Referee: Graham Salisbury. Lancashire.

Assistant referees: M. Dwyer. M. McGrath.

Attendance: 3,450 (99 Dagenham & Redbridge)