Hartlepool United seal long-awaited win as forgotten man shines again at Maidenhead

Hartlepool United brought their ten-game winless run to an end with a well-deserved win at Maidenhead United.

Saturday, 8th December 2018, 3:47 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th December 2018, 4:00 pm
Josh Hawkes netted the winner for Pools at Maidenhead

A first-half goal from Josh Hawkes proved enough for Pools who put an end to their dismal run of form.

Hawkes, often a forgotten man under former manager Matthew Bates, impressed yet again as United secured a long-awaited victory.

Craig Hignett made just one change from the side that surrendered a late lead against Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend, with Myles Anderson recalled after recovering from injury.

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And Pools began brightly, putting their hosts under some early pressure without seriously testing goalkeeper Carl Pentney.

Niko Muir threatened to get on the end of a cross while Liam Noble saw an in-swinging free-kick punched away as the visitors upped the pressure.

The pressure eventually told on 17 minutes, when Hawkes’ low effort found its way past Pentney to hand Hignett’s side a deserved lead.

Maidenhead rallied, with Anderson and defensive partner Carl Magnay doing well to crowd out Remy Clerima as he looked to convert a teasing cross.

Pools were dealt a blow, however, when youngster Peter Kioso was withdrawn through injury ten minutes before the break. A stretcher was called for the defender, who was replaced by Kenton Richardson.

The last chance of a fairly tepid first half fell to Liam Noble, but United’s vice-captain saw his long-range effort deflected wide by Rene Steer.

But the visitors were handed an advantage at the start of the second half when James Comley saw red for the hosts - his reckless challenge on Luke James seeing him given his marching orders.

And Hignett’s side looked to make that advantage count immediately - Muir forcing a good save from Pentney before Noble sent a free-kick from distance narrowly wide.

Ultimately, though, one goal proved enough for Pools who put an end to their wretched form of late.

Hartlepool United XI: Loach; Magnay, Anderson, Kioso (Richardson), Kitching; Donaldson, Featherstone, Noble, Hawkes (McLaughlin 83); James, Muir

Subs not used: Butler, O’Neill, Dinanga

Goals: Hawkes 17

Yellow cards: Featherstone 25

Maidenhead United XI: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Obileye (Cole 65), Kilgour, Comley, Kelly, Worsfold (Odametey 77), Nana-Twumasi, Clifton (Bird 71), Massey

Maidenhead United subs: Owusu, Peters

Red card: Comley 50

Attendance; 1,157