A new strike pairing put Pools on the way to an impressive win at home to Southend.
Adam Boyd was in fantastic form and that was helped in no small way by his partner up front, Roy O’Donovan who was on loan from Sunderland.
The Irishman used his scorching pace and willingness to close defenders down to great effect.
It all added up to the perfect formula for a much-needed three points courtesy of an O’Donovan hat-trick with goals in the 16th, 32nd and 90th minutes.
The Mail reporter at the time said: “O’Donovan has shown enough in his first three games for Pools that he could be a real superstar at League One level.”
It was Boyd who almost opened the scoring on 12 minutes when he tried an audacious half volley from 25 yards. It was only kept out by a backtracking Southend goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall.
O’Donovan has shown enough in his first three games for Pools that he could be a real superstar at League One levelMail reporter, 2010
The stalemate only lasted another four minutes. Boyd chested the ball down on the halfway line before turning and playing an inch perfect pass directly between Southend’s defenders.
O’Donovan sprinted through and struck a lofted shot beyond Mildenhall. It crashed down into the back of the net after rebounding down off the bar.
Pools’ lead was doubled when Boyd again was the provider. He cushioned the ball beyond Southend’s back line and O’Donovan raced onto the loose ball to a fire a shot into the bottom right corner.
For Southend, Francis Laurent went close with a header from six yards but it went just wide of the post.
And Franck Moussa missed the target when he had a chance on 67 minutes.
Things got worse for the visitors when McCormack got a second yellow card.
And to finish off a perfect day, O’Donovan completed his hat-trick when Denis Behan first broke from the halfway line. He fed the ball down the left hand channel and O’Donovan let the ball run across him before firing a low left-footed cross inside Mildenhall’s near post.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Liddle, Hartley, Jones (Brown), Sweeney, Gamble, (Humphreys), Monkhouse, O’Donovan, Boyd (Behan). Subs not used: Cook, McSweeney, Haslam, Bjornsson.
Southend: Mildenhall, Francis, Baldwin, Mvoto (Malone), Barrett, Laurent, McCormack, Moussa, Scannell, Paterson (Spencer), Vernon. Subs not used: Jack, Sankota, Herd, Crawford.
Referee: J Waugh (Sheffield).