Hartlepool United 0-2 Bradford City RECAP: Graeme Lee suffers first defeat at the Suit Direct Stadium

Hartlepool United suffered their first defeat at the Suit Direct Stadium since November after Bradford City scored twice in the second half.

Marcus Carver in action as Hartlepool United were beaten by Bradford City.
Marcus Carver in action as Hartlepool United were beaten by Bradford City.

Matty Foulds opened the scoring with 20 minutes remaining capping a swift counter-attack in front of the 700 travelling supporters.

And the visitors doubled their lead just six minute later when Yan Songoo met a corner from the right at the front post to beat Ben Killip.

It was a goal which knocked the stuffing out of Graeme Lee’s side as they slipped a first defeat on home soil since November.

Lee made three changes to the side who were held by Leyton Orient at the weekend with Luke Molyneux back in the starting XI.

And Molyneux would flank Marcus Carver who made his first start at the Suit Direct Stadium in attack with Martin Smith the third change replacing Mark Shelton in midfield.

Shelton missed out on the squad altogether while Omar Bogle and Tom Crawford dropped to the bench.

Pools had Killip to thank when he denied Andy Cook’s powerful header before Carver had the opportunity to open his Pools account.

Smith fed a lovely ball between the lines for Carver to run onto but his first-time effort was saved well by Alex Bass.

And Carver had another chance moments later when Jamie Sterry’s cross from the right found him inside the area but he fired over from close range.

A close game continued in the second half as Molyneux stung the palms of Bass before Joe White tried his luck from range only to be denied by the bar.

But it was Bradford who took the lead and it came from a Pools corner as a swift counter-attack found Callum Cooke on the left and he drove at the defence before slipping in Foulds from 12 yards and he was able to roll into the far corner beyond Killip.

And no sooner had they taken they lead they doubled their advantage when Cooke’s corner from the right was flicked on by Songoo at the front post and despite Killip getting a hand to it, he found the corner.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of Pools who were unable to come up with a response as Lee suffered defeat for the first time at the Suit Direct Stadium.

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Hartlepool United 0-2 Bradford City RECAP: Two goals in six minutes seal Graeme Lee’s first defeat on home soil.

Last updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2022, 01:01

  • Yann Songoo converts at the near post from a corner to double the lead
  • Matt Foulds caps a swift Bradford City counter-attack to hand the visitors the lead
  • Hartlepool United XI: Killip, Sterry, Byrne, Odusina, Ferguson, Featherstone ©, Smith, White, Grey, Molyneux, Carver
  • Subs: Bilokapic, Liddle, Ogle, Francis-Angol, Crawford, Fletcher, Bogle
  • Bradford City XI: Bass, O’Connor, Songoo, Cooke, Cook, Foulds, Evans, Watt, Sutton, Hendrie, Pereira
  • Subs: O’Donnell, Threlkeld, Walker, Kelleher, Robinson, Lavery, Delfounso

That’s all for tonight as Pools suffer a rare defeat on home soil after a quickfire double from Bradford in the final 20 minutes here at the Suit Direct Stadium.

Graeme Lee’s side don’t have long to wait however to put things right as they travel to Newport on Friday.

And we’ll be there, too, at Rodney Parade to bring you all the coverage.

Thanks for being with us once again.

Our Hartlepool United reporter Joe Ramage shares his view of tonight’s contest at the Suit Direct Stadium:

“It was a fairly even contest for the most part. Pools certainly upped their levels from a flat performance at the weekend and were spurred on by an uplifted Bradford side following their win over Forest Green Rovers.

“Both sides had chances with Andy Cook and Marcus Carver being denied while Joe White hit the bar for Pools.

“But it was a swift breakaway from Bradford which broke the deadlock as Callum Cooke, who was excellent on the night, raced clear down the left before sliding a ball into Matt Foulds who rolled into the corner of the net.

“The visitors quickly doubled their lead from a set piece which will annoy Graeme Lee as it effectively sealed the game.

“It wasn’t necessarily a poor display from Pools, they had their moments. In the end they just lacked that clinical edge in front of goal.

“But that is now just one point taken from two home games Lee had earmarked for a maximum of six points ahead of a difficult trip to Newport County.

“Add in the concern over midfielder Gavan Holohan’s absence and there are one or two things for Lee to consider over the coming days.

“Lee reiterated he is keen for his side not to allow the season to fizzle out but they could be in danger of that should they follow this defeat up with another on Friday night.”

Graeme Lee reaction

Graeme Lee has revealed the decision behind his team selection after making three changes ahead of Hartlepool United’s defeat by Bradford City.

Pools were edged out of a close contest after the Bantams scored twice in six minutes in the final quarter of the game to put the game beyond the reach of Lee’s side.

Matt Foulds capped a swift counter-attack from Mark Hughes’ side after Pools were attacking a corner before defender Yann Songoo converted at the near post from a Bradford corner as Lee suffered his first defeat at the Suit Direct Stadium.

Lee brought in midfielder Martin Smith in place of Mark Shelton while Luke Molyneux returned to the side in place of Tom Crawford after starting Saturday’s stalemate with Leyton Orient on the bench.

Meanwhile Marcus Carver earned his first home start for Pools since joining in January in place of Omar Bogle who dropped to the bench.

And Lee has revealed the move behind those changes was due to what is a busy week for Pools with three games while Shelton also picked up a hamstring injury in training ahead of the game ruling him out of the squad altogether.

There was further surprise when Irish midfielder Gavan Holohan was also not involved in the squad with Lee confirming the 30-year-old is also struggling with a calf issue.

“Smith has had to come in, he’s been chomping at the bit to try and get game time, but Shelts reported a hamstring injury this morning from training and Gav Holohan reported a minor calf injury yesterday morning and said he wouldn’t be fit.

“So you look at your squad and look at who’s the best fit to come in.

“I thought Crawford, like Omar, has played a lot of games. I think his last two performances have probably been a little bit off because he covers a lot of ground.

“So I just thought I’d freshen it up. Smudge has come in and performance-wise I was pleased.”

It’s all over here as the referee brings things to a close as Bradford come out 2-0 winners at the Suit Direct Stadium

There will be four minutes added at the end of the game

Bogle well off target with a freekick

Tonight’s attendance is 5,106 (694 Bradford)

Crawford replaces Smith

Cooke picks up a yellow card for a foul on Smith

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