FULL-TIME REPORT: Pools 1 Wycombe 3

Sam Collins clears his penalty area. Picture by FRANK REID
Sam Collins clears his penalty area. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United suffered a third defeat on the spin as Wycombe Wanderers left Victoria Park with a deserved 3-1 victory.

Mick Wadsworth made four changes to the side beaten at Notts County, out went the injured Nobby Solano, strike pairing Adam Boyd and Colin Nish and Ritchie Humphreys.

Restored to the line-up were Stephen Wright, Evan Horwood, Andy Monkhouse and James Poole.

But it was the visitors who started the brighter of the sides and they duly took the lead on 16 minutes.

Paul Murray dithered in possession 30 yards out and was robbed, allowing Ben Strevens to run at Stephen Wright.

He did well to turn inside the recovering Pools defender and, when his shot was parried by Scott Flinders, Scott Donnelly was on hand to slot home the loose ball.

It was all Wycombe and Stuart Beavon then stung the palms of Flinders with a swirling drive from 25 yards.

Pools did fashion a promising move at the other end as Gary Liddle sprayed possession wide to Evan Horwood.

The wing-back swept over a first-time cross and Tony Sweeney was unlucky to see his header bounce inches wide.

Pools were beginning to find their rhythm only to be hit with a sucker-punch on 36 minutes.

Monkhouse flashed a low ball across the face of goal without any takers and from that Wycombe broke upfield at pace.

The ball was eventually worked to Beavon and his smart turn away from Wright opened up the angle for the shot, the midfielder drawing low into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Pools were dealt a further blow on the stroke of half-time when Sweeney was forced to retire because of injury.

With Nathan Luscombe on the hosts started the second period in purposeful mood and Poole went close with left-footed drive from the edge of the area.

Luscombe was again involved as Wright was sent clear down the right, he dug out an inviting centre for Neil Austin but the defender somehow headed over from just six yards out when completely unmarked.

Still Pools pressed and a fantastic piece of trickery from that man Luscombe paved the way for Boyd to direct an overhead kick on goal, keeper Nikki Bull snaffling the improvised effort around the upright.

But any hope of a comeback was extinguished seven minutes from time when Beavon’s cross was put through his own net by an unfortunate Sam Collins.

There was still time for Boyd to net his fifth of the season courtesy of a last-minute penalty.