Stevenage 2 Hartlepool United 0: Pools’ perfect run ends

Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore.
Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore.

Hartlepool United’s 100 per cent start to the season was ended today at Stevenage.

Pools had opened the campaign with three League Two wins in a row but were sunk by goals at the end of both halves at Broadhalll Way.

Stevenage nicked the lead in first-half injury time, right-back Fraser Franks heading in Steve Schumacher’s corner from the left.

And they secured the points two minutes from time when Brett Williams scored on the counter-attack.

Stevenage: Day, Franks, Hughes, Wells, Ogilvie, Schumacher, Gordon (Whelpdale 62), Gorman, Lee (Hitchcock 83), Akinyemi (Pett 71), Williams

Unused subs: Kettings, Okimo, Casey, Conlon

Goal: Franks 45, Williams 88

Booked: Gorman

Pools: Bartlett, Duckworth, Harrison, Bates (Boyce 18), Carroll, Magnay, Featherstone, Woods (Nelson-Addy 72), Fenwick (Oates 61), Paynter, Bingham.

Unused subs: Denton, Jones, Oyenuga, Smith

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 2,639

Stevenage made the brighter start and were all over Pools in the opening stages.

Charlie Lee had the first chance in the fourth minute, but he tried to pass it into net from 14 yards and it trickled wide of Adam Bartlett’s left-hand post.

Stevenage, under Sheringham, are trying to play nice football and early on, Pools were not getting anywhere near them.

Pools put a good move together in 17th minute involving Paynter, Bingham, Duckworth and Featherstone but the ball got away from Woods in the box.

There was an injury blow for Pools in the 18th minute when Bates went down injured, debutant Andrew Boyce coming on.

Pools had their first shot midway through the half, a long-range grasscutter from Michael Duckworth which got nowhere near Day’s goal.

Moore’s side were starting to put it together and Bingham brought a good reaction save from Day with a left-foot shot on the half hour.

There was a scare for Pools in the 36th minute, but after great work by Akinyemi down left, Lee could not reach the cross.

But Pools fell behind in the first minute of stoppage time.

Stevenage won a corner on the left, Schumacher flighting it over for FRANKS to head high into the net from seven yards.

Half-time:

Stevenage 1

Pools 0

Pools started the second half with intent but Bingham went over bar from 16yards after Harrison won a header from Carroll’s early free-kick.

There was further encouragement for Pools on 51minutes as Bingham and Featherstone did well down right but Magnay’s shot did not match the build-up play.

Pools made their second change just after the hour, bringing on Oates for Fenwick.

The Boro threatened a second goal in the 70th minute but Boyce produced a tremendous sliding tackle to deny Williams in the Pools box.

Oates then had a great chance to put Pools level.

He got clear of the Stevenage defence from Bingham’s flick on but his touch was too heavy and while he got his shot away, keeper Day saved for a corner.

Moore made his final change 18 minutes from time, bringing on Ebby Nelson-Addy for Woods.

Pools were sticking at it and Bingham hit the side-netting after picking up loose ball from deflected Paynter shot.

The blues kept going and pressed Boro back, seeing lots of the ball.

Oates and Nelson-Addy were involved in the 87th minute in and around the Stevenage box and the ball reached Bingham only for his shot to be blocked by Wells.

And moments later, the sucker punch arrived when Stevenage broke for WILLIAMS to get the match-clinching goal on the break.

Pools kept battling and Oates had a couple of shots blocked but there was to be no consolation goal.

Full-time:

STEVENAGE 2

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0