Notts County 2 Hartlepool United 1: Match report, Pools lose away again

Nathan Thomas: His shot led to Pools goal

Nathan Thomas: His shot led to Pools goal

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Hartlepool United slipped to 22nd in the League Two table after their woeful away run continued at Notts County.

Second half goals from Shola Ameobi (47) and Jorge Grant (71) put Notts County two up with a 78th-minute OG giving Pools hope.

Ameobi had seen a first-half penalty saved by Joe Fryer, but Pools could not build on a good opening 45 minutes with County leapfrogging Dave Jones's side in the table..

Pools suffered a savage blow ahead of the League Two six-pointer with the loss of Brad Walker.

The 20-year-old was ruled out at Meadow Lane with an ankle injury, leaving Pools even more stretched at the back following the hamstring trouble for Sean Kavanagh.

The midfielder has been outstanding since switching to the centre of defence, playing alongside Scott Harrison.

Kenton Richardson came in for Kavanagh, who has returned to Fulham for treatment. With Matthew Bates struggling with an ankle problem, boss Dave Jones brought in Lewis Hawkins for Walker.

Pools started with three at the back, with holding midfielder Nicky Featherstone joining Harrison and Liam Donnelly at the heart of the defence.

The first half proved an entertaining, even affair with play moving swiftly from end to end.

In-form Lewis Alessandra almost got Rhys Oates in after 11 minutes but the two home centre-halves, Richard Duffy and Hayn Hollis muscled him out.

Pools nearly scored from the resulting set-pice but Duffy blocked Alessandra's shot.

Notts County had shouts for a spot-kick oin the 25th minute when Jorge Grant toppled over twice in the Pools box, but referee Darren Deadman was unmoved.

Featherstone, doing well in his new position, was well positioned two minutes later with two blocks.

But from the corner which followed, Lewis Hawkins was penalised for handball, Mr Deadman pointing to the spot.

However, Fryer dived to his right to save Ameobi's penalty onto the post, with Pools clearing.

Ten minutes later, Oates went down in the home box, but it was never a penalty despite his dramatic fall.

Pools were dangerous going forward and it needed good defending from Marc Bola to thwart Oates while keeper Adam Collin came out sharply as Padraig Amond threatened.

Half-time:

Notts Co 0

Pools 0

Notts County were ahead within two minutes of the re-start.

Grant played AMEOBI clean through and the giant striker applied a cool finish from14 yards.

Pools were by no means out of it with Thomas having a shot saved by Collin, but the Magpies were the side with their tails up.

Thomas did win a corner for Pools but after Donnelly had headed into the dangerzone, Oates could not get a clean connection inside the six-yard box and Collin collected.

Donnelly then tried his luck from 30 yards, but his shot, though well hit, was easily held by the keeper.

Pools went two down in thew 71st minute to a belter.

The away defence cleared a corner to edge of the box where GRANT smashed it into top corner of Fryer's goal from 20 yards.

Pools were given hope when they pulled one back in the78th minute.

Oates produced some great work down the left, with his cross reaching Thomas. His shot was cleared off the line by Duffy with the loose seeming to go in off a home defender with Alessandra in the vicinity.

Pools huffed and puffed late on with Thomas having a 21-yard shot go straight at Collin after good move in the second minute of stoppage time.

FULL-TIME

NOTTS COUNTY 2

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1

Notts Co: Collin, Hewitt, Duffy, Hollis, Bola, Grant (A Campbell 90), Tootle, Millsom, Yeates (Smith 86), Ameobi, Forte (T Campbell 71)

Subs: Loach, Dickinson, Clackstone,

Goals: Ameobi 47, Grant 71

Pools: Fryer, Richardson, Donnelly, Harrison, Featherstone, Woods, Hawkins (Deverdics 59), Alessandra, Thomas, Oates, Amond.

Subs: Bartlett, Martin, Hawkes, Orrell, Rooney.

Goal: OG

Booked: Hawkins 28, Harrison 81

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance 8,653 (away 427)