Hartlepool United 3-1 AFC Fylde: Emmanuel Dieseruvwe double helps send impressive Pools top of the table

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Hartlepool United moved to the top of the National League table with a fourth straight win against AFC Fylde.

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe scored either side of Callum Cooke’s first goal of the season to claim a third straight win at the Suit Direct Stadium and a fourth in the league to move to the top of the table ahead of Monday’s trip to Chesterfield.

Dieseruvwe headed in midway through the first half before Cooke added a second soon after as Pools threatened to run away with things.

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But the visitors reduced the deficit in first half stoppage time when Gold Omotayo’s effort found a way through Joel Dixon.

Emmanuel Dieseruvwe scored his third and fourth goals of the season for Hartlepool United against AFC Fylde. Picture by FRANK REIDEmmanuel Dieseruvwe scored his third and fourth goals of the season for Hartlepool United against AFC Fylde. Picture by FRANK REID
Emmanuel Dieseruvwe scored his third and fourth goals of the season for Hartlepool United against AFC Fylde. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool re-established their two-goal advantage, however, when Dieseruvwe was on hand to convert early in the second half as John Askey was able to celebrate signing a new contract at the Suit Direct Stadium with all three points.

Hartlepool were handed two boosts ahead of kick-off with Fylde; manager Askey put pen to paper on a new deal with the club keeping him at the Suit Direct Stadium until 2026 before summer signing Dieseruvwe was cleared to feature from the off after being forced off in the win over Southend United.

Dieseruvwe’s inclusion meant that Askey was able to name an unchanged side for a third straight National League game as Pools went in search for a fourth straight win and a third on home soil.

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And it was Dieseruvwe who was involved in the games first key incident when he raced onto Dan Dodds’ ball forward ahead of Costers captain Alex Whitmore which led to goalkeeper Theo Richardson racing a long way out to his left to meet the Hartlepool striker before, ultimately, taking him out.

Callum Cooke scored his first goal of the season as Hartlepool United secured a 3-1 win over AFC Fylde at the Suit Direct Stadium. Picture by FRANK REIDCallum Cooke scored his first goal of the season as Hartlepool United secured a 3-1 win over AFC Fylde at the Suit Direct Stadium. Picture by FRANK REID
Callum Cooke scored his first goal of the season as Hartlepool United secured a 3-1 win over AFC Fylde at the Suit Direct Stadium. Picture by FRANK REID

Referee Steven Copeland took his time over the decision before awarding Richardson a yellow card, with Fylde deemed to have had enough players covering after Dieseruvwe had taken it beyond the goalkeeper.

Tom Crawford headed over at the near post from the resulting free kick as Hartlepool looked to assert themselves in the opening exchanges.

But despite a somewhat frantic start, it was Adam Murray’s side who began to settle into the game with the visitors enjoying plenty of territory – Nick Haughton’s superb diagonal pass finding John Ustabasi but the forward was unable to control as Dixon gathered.

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Charlie Seaman, fresh off the back of two stunning strikes in recent weeks, found himself with a sight of goal, this time Richardson was equal to things before Ustabasi caught Anthony Mancini napping on the edge of his own area only for the Frenchman to redeem himself with a strong recovery challenge in the area.

But at that midway point in the half Pools really took control of things and produced a quite stunning period of play which saw them take a two-goal lead which could, and maybe should, have been more.

Emmanuel Onariase headed over from Cooke’s in-swinging corner before Dodds produced a wonderful solo run, evading a number of Fylde defenders before seeing his shot well blocked.

Dodds was involved again when setting Mancini free down the right but, surprisingly, his final ball escaped him with both Cooke and Dieseruvwe waiting.

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Pools were probing, though, and they took the lead after 25 minutes courtesy of Dieseruvwe’s third in blue and white.

Mancini was able to glide infield from the right before finding Cooke who spread it further to the left for Ferguson and the Hartlepool skipper stood up a delightful first-time cross for Dieseruvwe who had found space between the Fylde centre-backs to send a textbook header back across goal and give Askey’s side the lead.

The goal ignited the Suit Direct Stadium crowd and saw Hartlepool really thrive as they looked to put Fylde to the sword.

Mancini and Dieseruvwe exchanged brilliantly on the right to then find Cooke who saw a chance go begging before Dieseruvwe then fired over from Mancini’s through ball, albeit the linesman’s flag may have spared his blushes.

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Pools could sense the opportunity was there for them to extend their lead and they did so after the half hour with an excellent finish from Cooke.

Seaman measured a defence splitting ball into the path of Chris Wreh, who earned a little bit of fortune with the offside flag remaining down before holding up well to slide into Cooke and the midfielder produced an intelligent finish in shaping it around the defender and into the far corner with Richardson well beaten.

Hartlepool’s tails were up and they were creating overloads at will as Wreh found space on the left with his shot blocked into the path of Crawford who brought a smart stop out of Richardson.

Fylde finally got a foothold in the Hartlepool half only for Pools to spring a devastating counter-attack led by clever play from Crawford to find Seaman who sent an excellent curled ball into the channel for Dieseruvwe and the striker bided his time before rolling in Mancini who beat Richardson with a smart chip only for his effort to be cleared from the line.

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At that stage it felt like a case of when rather than if Hartlepool would add a third and Mancini came close again after being found in space on the right by Cooke following a quick move from left to right, but this time Richardson saved well low to his left.

And Pools were left to rue not adding a third as they went in at the break with their lead reduced thanks to Omotayo’s strike.

The home side invited a little bit of panic with a couple of loose clearances from Dixon and Onariase before Luke Conlan picked up possession around 30-yards from goal and was able to wriggle by Crawford to find Ustabasi and he was able to turn a ball into the path of Omotayo, who had stolen a march on Alex Lacey, to send a powerful strike at goal which went through Dixon to trickle over the line.

The visitors then put Hartlepool under plenty of pressure for the remainder of the five minutes of added time before seeing a penalty appeal turned down early in the second half when Omotayo met a corner from the right to head towards goal which was turned behind via a deflection from Seaman.

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But Askey’s side re-established their two-goal lead within 10 minutes of the restart with another brilliantly worked goal.

Dodds advanced on the right and was allowed to drift infield before finding Ferguson on the left and he exchanged a lovely one-two with Cooke, the return from the midfielder weighted to perfection, before Ferguson pulled it back to Dieseruvwe who had held his run and the striker was able to swivel and fire low to beat Richardson with the slightest of deflections.

Much like in the first half, the goal ignited Pools and they came forward willingly and almost added a fourth when Crawford found Cooke in space on the right and he clipped a ball into the path of substitute Joe Grey who headed over the bar.

Grey linked with Mancini well just after the hour with the midfielder curling just over the angle of post and bar before the Frenchman found himself in again on the right of the area but his effort was a little wild and went over at the near post.

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Pools were able to manage the game effectively and pick their moments as Crawford saw an effort blocked after good play from Grey.

Grey then almost benefited from a slip by Richardson after poking one goalwards but the goalkeeper was able to scramble back and push away from the line as Askey was able to celebrate his new Hartlepool deal as Pools made it four straight wins to become the early pace setters in the National League

Hartlepool United XI: Dixon, Seaman (Paterson ‘89), Dodds, Onariase, Lacey, Ferguson ©, Crawford, Cooke, Mancini (Wallace ‘78), Wreh (Grey ‘48), Dieseruvwe

Subs: Jameson, Hastie

AFC Fylde XI: Richardson, Conlan, Obi, Whitmore ©, Philliskirk, Haughton, Omotayo (Ligendza ‘56), Glynn, Barrett (Kay ‘65), Jarrett-Evans, Ustabasi

Subs: Davis, Walker, Whitehead

Referee: Steven Copeland

Attendance: 4,370