Match report: St Johnstone 1 Hartlepool United 0, defeat for Pools at SPL side

Padraig Amond: Screwed shot wide.
Padraig Amond: Screwed shot wide.

Hartlepool United suffered their third successive one-goal defeat in pre-season when they went down at St Johnstone.

Ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven MacLean scored the winner from extremely close-range in the 12th-minute.

Pools did better than Sunderland managed at McDiarmid Park sevendays earlier, when the Black Cats were out-played, losing 3-0.

Despite the loss, boss Craig Harrison will rate this as a good run-out for Pools against a top four SPL side

Pools included four triallists in the squad, keeper Matt Gould, Canada U23 centre-half Kosovar Sadike, defender James Risborough and winger Junior Mondal who all got run-outs in the scond period.

After an uneventful start, Saints took the lead with their first attack.

A nice move down their left, got trialist Romaine Habran into space and his deflected cross was nodded in from a few yards by MACLEAN.

Saints applied pressure again in the 26th minute and after MacLean failed to get a clean connection, the ball fell nicely to David Wotherspoon whose low shot was straight at Loach.

Pools had their first shot on 33 minutes when Michael Woods was well wide from outside the box after good work by Conor Newton.

Three minutes before the break, MacLean tried his luck outside the area with Loach beating away a shot with swerve on it.

Harrison brought on Amond for the second half, Jake Cassidy coming off.

Pools did get their second shot of the match in 10 minutes into the second half but Blair Adams' effort with his rarely-used right foot was easy for the goalie to collect.

Harrison made three changes on the hour, bringing on trialists Gould, Sadike and Mondal for Loach, Louis Laing and Jack Munns.

Nicky Deverdics went agonisingly close to a 64th-minute equaliser with a free-kick from 22 yards,. keeper Alan Manuss clawing the left-footed strike out of his top left corner.

There were four more alterations on 71 minutes, Carl Magnay, Adams, Newton and Ryan Donaldson coming off, with Kenton Richardson, James Risborough, LewisHawkins and Liam Travers introduced.

Amond got away 12 minutes from time when he seized on a loose Saints throw-in on half-way, only to screw his shot miles wide.

FULL-TIME

ST JOHNSTONE 1

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0

St Johnstone: Mannus, Foster, Anderson, Gordon, Tanser (Easton 46), Wotherspoon (Craig 46), Paton, Davidson, Scougall, Habran (Alston 59), MacLean (Kane 46)
Goal: MacLean 12

Pools: Loach (Gould 60) Magnay (Richardson 71), Harrison, Laing (Sadike 60), Blair (Risborough 71), Donaldson (Hawkins 71), Newton (Travers 71), Woods (Featherstone 64), Deverdics, Munns (Mondal 60), Cassidy (Amond 46).

Referee: Euan Anderson
Attendance: 1,157 (away 54)