POOLS MATCH ANLAYSIS: Hartlepool United 2 Carlisle United 3

Billy Paynter scores from the penalty spot for Hartlepool United against Carlisle United. Picture by TOM COLLINS
Billy Paynter scores from the penalty spot for Hartlepool United against Carlisle United. Picture by TOM COLLINS
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Back to basics. It will be a familiar quote for the older readers.

It was John Major’s call to the country and today at Maiden Castle you suspect the training ground may be echoing to a similar sentiment from Ronnie Moore.

In further mitigation, perhaps Tuesday night’s cup runaround may also have taken more of a toll than first thought


Defeat at Stevenage was a disappointment, a stumble after the strong strides made in the first week and a half of the season.

A Capital One Cup masterclass at home to Bournemouth was not the end of the world either.

But Saturday’s display in the defeat to Carlisle United cannot be repeated too often.

In fact, not repeated at all if they can help it.

Conceding four to the Cherries was no great problem, Eddie Howe’s side played some sumptuous football.

But leaking three to Keith Curle’s less gifted Carlisle side is a worry.

Pools had been looking forward to a game more up their street, a clash of raw League Two energy rather than Premier elegance.

All those headers and tackles should have been food and drink for Ronnie Moore’s side.

Alas they suffered a difficult afternoon against the strong and dangerous Cumbrians.

Had the match finished something like 8-6 to the visitors, Pools could not have complained.

Carlisle looked a threat every time they got the ball in the home box which, it has to be said, was often.

Moore was, as you would expect, honest in his post-match assessment.

He was unhappy with his central defenders and his full-backs were not spared either.

Moore was being a little harsh on his back four.

True, they did not have their best of afternoons but they needed greater assistance from the men in front of them.

The midfield melted away into the lush green grass though, Pools were not helped by the loss of Carl Magnay halfway through this thriller.

Magnay has been one of the players of the season to date, producing a string of impressive displays in the holding midfield role.

Ebby Nelson-Addy was brought on as his replacement and while he got forward on several occasions, Pools missed Magnay. Big style.

Hopefully, his absence will only be a brief one.

Pools had ridden their luck on a couple of occasions this season but they need to get back to being hard to beat, winning their headers, cutting out the crosses and when the ball needs hoofing up the field, then put your foot through it.

Coughing up possession around your own box is not an option.

While a defeat is not what Dr Moore ordered, lessons, hopefully, will be learned.

In further mitigation, perhaps Tuesday night’s cup runaround may also have taken more of a toll than first thought.

The game itself was an absolute cracker, with an atmosphere to match.

Pools had the perfect start. Jake Carroll’s corner was hit deep, too deep in fact.

But Magnay kept it in and his pull back was finished with some venom, Scott Harrison’s left-footer flying past Mark Gillespie.

How that was the only goal in a frenetic first half is hard to believe.

Gillespie saved with his feet from Nicky Featherstone, Billy Paynter dragged a shot wide from the right side of the box while only the woodwork denied Rakish Bingham his second goal of the season just after the half-hour.

Showing great feet, Bingham beat three defenders and the keeper, but not the bar/post as his left-footer rebounded to safety.

While Pools had plenty of sights of the goal at the Rink End, their own net led something of charmed life.

Steven Rigg was denied twice by desperate home blocks after collecting Bastien Hery’s header down in the ninth minute and soon after, defender Troy Archibald-Henville skied his shot from Tom Miller’s long throw.

Pools were caught three-on-three at back in 24th minute and Jabo Ibehre really should have done better from Danny Grainger’s great cross from the left but League Two’s top scorer prodded wide.

There was almost a home second in the 31st minute when Rakish Bingham beat three Carlisle defenders with great skill, only to see his left-foot drive from 18yards crashed back off bar/post.

Seven minutes from the break, Adam Bartlett saved superbly from Jason Kennedy who then somehow put the rebound wide in front of an open goal.

Pools, unfortunately, did not heed the warnings.

Archibald-Henville headed over from very close range from a free-kick by Grainger who then shot over the bar from outside the area.

A Carlisle goal was inevitable and that-man Ibehre was the marksman in the 57th minute, though he was unmarked as he headed in Kennedy’s cross from the right from eight yards.

Pools steeled themselves and had one of the chances of the afternoon in the 66th minute.

Paynter and Fenwick combined in a neat move to set up Carroll who, finding himself in the box, executed his turn but not the finish and put his shot wide of Gillespie’s right post.

It did not seem to matter as Pools were awarded a penalty when referee Andy Haines ruled that Kennedy had held Fenwick at a free-kick.

The 70th-minute spot-kick gave Paynter the chance to net against his former club and the Pools skipper made no mistake, hammering high into the right of Gillespie’s goal.

Big Billy enjoyed the moment, running across to celebrate in front of the Carlisle bench and the manager he fell out with – Keith Curle.

Curle though would have the last laugh. His team were level in a mere six minutes.

Miller seemed to be going no-where down the right side of the box, but beat Nelson-Addy with ease and cut in and launched a left-footer from the edge of the box.

Whether he intended it or not it went over Bartlett and into the Pools goal.

Boyce and Carroll kept Pools all sqaure with magnificent blocks but Carlisle struck again in the 85th minute.

Fenwick could not get the ball clear and Grainger crossed from the left for Ibehre to tap in from inside the six-yard box.

Sub Derek Asamoah passed up a simple chance at the death but Carlisle held on for the points.

It’s time for Pools to get back to basics.