Solihull Moors 0 Hartlepool United 1: Liam Noble Pools' matchwinner as they climb to FOURTH in National League

Hartlepool United rose to fifth in the National League table after a Liam Noble cracker saw them extend their unbeaten run to seven games at Solihull Moors.

Saturday, 8th September 2018, 4:56 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th September 2018, 5:06 pm
Niko Muir.

Liam Noble's second half 25-yard effort, his FIFTH of the season, was enough to claim all three points for Pools against 10-man Moors, who saw skipper Kyle Storer dismissed for a reckless challenge shortly before the half hour.

Matthew Bates resisted to temptation to stick with the same team which was on a six-game unbeaten run, instead opting to bring in Paddy McLaughlin at the expense of Michael Woods, who dropped to the bench.

On an unbeaten run since August 11, Pools were on the back foot early on as Moors looked to extend their own very healthy unbeaten home run of 17 games at Damson Park.

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Tim Flowers' men's hopes took an early dent when the man who proved the difference between these sides at Victoria Park back in April - Adi Yussuf - was forced off with an injury.

With their main goal threat already in the stands the hosts were without their skipper soon after when Storer was given his marching orders for a two-footed challenge on Nicky Featherstone just before the half hour.

With a man advantage, you'd have thought Pools would have taken this one by the scruff of the neck, but that was not the case as the home side continued to look a real threat on the break, particularly in the shape of Jermaine Hylton.

After a disappointing opening 45, Pools came out with renewed vigour after the break.

First to every ball, pushing the opposition into their own defensive third and forcing things themselves, Pools dominated against the 10 of Moors, where they'd struggle in the first half.

Niko Muir could not finish when played in by the head of Featherstone, after some neat link up play with Noble.

Mark Kitching hit the side netting before Muir missed a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring, but he could not find the back of the net when set free by Featherstone again. The rebound fell to the midfield creator, but his effort was curled over.

A man to the good and in no mood to let the opposition off the hook, Pools finally went in front on 58 when Noble picked the ball up from distance, lined up his shot and curled past a helpless Ryan Boot, who did not move from the moment it left the Geordie's boot.

Goal number five for talisman Noble, and the opener for Pools - well deserved on both counts.

Not intent with the one goal, Pools remained on the front foot in the Midlands as the game went into the final third.

Ryan Donaldson, a constant thorn in Moors' side on the right, almost made it 2-0 with 20 to go, but his volley from a deep Mark Kitching cross came off the bar.

And, as they have with relative ease in recent weeks, Pools saw the game out with little fuss.

In fact, Peter Kioso was close to opening his account for Pools in the 90th minute and extending the lead, but keeper Boot was on hand to produce a top-class stop from the low, powerful drive.

Five wins out of six, unbeaten in seven and up to fourth. The numbers are starting to stack up for Pools, 10 games into this National League season.