Boreham Wood 0-4 Hartlepool United: Stunning away display sees Craig Hignett’s unbeaten start continue

Hartlepool United claimed a fine victory at Boreham Wood
Hartlepool United claimed a fine victory at Boreham Wood

Hartlepool United put in a stunning display as they brushed aside Boreham Wood following a rampant showing at Meadow Park.

Braces from Nicke Kavamba and Josh Hawkes ensured Pools continued their unbeaten start under new manager Craig Hignett - while also netting three goals for the first time in a league game since March of last year.

Coverage in association with Grand Central

Coverage in association with Grand Central

Hignett was forced into two changes at Meadow Park with Michael Raynes and Luke Molyneux both sidelined through injury. Liam Noble and Aaron Cunningham were handed starts in their place.

But the enforced changes didn't stifle Pools, who dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead with just six minutes on the clock.

An inch-perfect cross from Danny Amos picked out Kabamba at the far post - the striker peeling away from his marker before powering a header past Ryan Huddart.

The goal was the loanee’s fourth in just four appearances since moving to the Super 6 Stadium, as he became the first player in half a century - and only the second ever - to achieve such a start to life at Pools.

But the hosts could have been level moments later when Sean Shields drilled cross somehow couldn’t be turned into the gaping net by Sorba Thomas.

Hartlepool rallied after that scare, with the hosts having to remain alert to block long-range efforts from Hawkes and Luke James as Pools continued to threaten on the counter-attack.

As the half wore on, however, Boreham Wood began to grow into the game and fired a couple of warning shots in Hartlepool’s direction.

Thomas saw a fizzing volley blocked his own teammate before Jamal Fyfield’s sent a header crashing off the crossbar in what were Luke Garrard’s side’s best chances in the opening period.

In what was becoming an increasingly open affair, Pools arguably should have extended their lead before the break.

Kabamba sent a header wide in what was a near-carbon copy of his opener, before Liam Noble fired over after fashioning some space on the edge of the area.

But while they couldn’t add to their solitary goal before the interval, the visitors continued to look lively after the restart.

And they came within inches of a second when Hawkes teed up the onrushing Amos whose powerful effort from 12 yards cannoned back off the post.

That proved to be only a temporary reprieve for the Wood as Pools extended their advantage courtesy of a fine strike from Hawkes.

The attacking midfielder found a pocket of space before smashing an effort into the bottom corner, leaving Huddart with no chance.

Hawkes would then have his second - and Hartlepool’s third - from the penalty spot on 56 minutes.

The midfielder - who was handed penalty taking duties after Noble’s miss from 12 yards last weekend - made no mistake after James was hauled down in the box following a 40-yard run.

And he could have sealed a hat-trick shortly after, only to see his 25-yard effort flash narrowly wide.

Pools were buoyant, and continued to create chances aplenty as they looked to add some gloss to a vintage away display.

Ryan Donaldson sent a far-post effort well over before Peter Kioso saw a tame header held by Huddart.

A fourth would come late on via the lively Kabamba, who drilled home via a deflection after some superb work from James out wide presented him with a sight of goal.

That wrapped up a fine win for Pools, who continued their fine start to life under Hignett.

Pools XI: Loach; Cunningham, Kioso, Anderson; Amos, Noble (Kitching 86), Hawkes (Hawkins 72), Featherstone, Donaldson; James, Kabamba

Subs not used: Richardson, Miller

Goal(s): Kabamba (7, 87), Hawkes (50, 57)

Yellow cards: Kioso (47)

Boreham Wood: Huddart, Ilesanmi, Ricketts, Parry, Champion, Gabriel (Shakes 68), Murtagh, Fyfield, Thomas, Kanu, Shields (Ash 59)

Subs not used: Legg, Woodards, Ugwu

Yellow cards: Fyfield (12), Champion (34), Kanu (78)

Attendance: 679 (199 away)

Referee: Gary Parsons - Got the big decisions correct but was inconsistent in his decision making. Plenty of soft fouls given throughout...5