Aldershot 2 Hartlepool United 1: Pools suffer more away day misery despite Blair Adams' goal of the season contender

Hartlepool United yet again suffered the away day blues as Blair Adams' goal of the season contender counted for nothing due a Scott Loach second half error.

Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 8:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 9:00 pm
Aldershot's Scott Rendell opens the scoring.
Aldershot's Scott Rendell opens the scoring.

A first-half strike from Aldershot's Scott Rendell was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Adams before Loach's mistake allowed Manny Oyeleke to claim all three points for the Shots and extend Pools run to one win in 15.

On the selection front Matthew Bates rang the changes - throwing in Liam Donnelly after more than a month out, Lewis Hawkins also got the nod, so too Carl Magnay at left-back with Luke George playing on the right of a back four.

The changes seemed to have an impact in an attacking sense, with Rhys Oates' energy providing Pools with a real outlet. But as has become all too familiar this season, defensively Bates' men were all at sixes and sevens.

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And they were made to pay early doors when slick passing Aldershot cut them open like a hot knife through butter. Magnay was out of position and the cross came in for Rendell to bundle home.

To add to their woes George lasted just 25 minutes, forced off with what looked like another hamstring issue.

But, they were far from deterred. You'd expect a side who had managed to win just one in 14 before this evening to struggle having gone behind, but Pools did anything but.

Oates was lively, Jake Cassidy solid up top and the midfield full of movement.

George's departure appeared to be a blow for Pools, but few were complaining when the man who came on for him - Adams - produced a moment of magic to level things up.

The left-back cut in from his wing and from 30 yards, bent in right-footed off the inside of the post. You will struggle to see a better goal than that, at this level all season.

Having not wanted to hear the half-time whistle, Pools carried on where they left off after the break.

And they could so easily have been in front shortly before the hour mark when Conor Newton's goal-bound volley was stopped with a Will Evans arm, but nothing was given.

And when you're struggling it is on moments like this that games are decided. And within moments, on the break, the hosts edged back in front. It's one Loach will not want to see again.

An Oyeleke shot from the edge of the area squirmed past the usually reliable shot-stopper and in off the upright.

Despite Bates throwing caution to the wind late on, and Pools looking dangerous, they failed to really create any clear-cut openings and had to settle for yet more away day disappointment. It was scant consolation for their efforts on the night.