HALF-TIME MATCH REPORT: Hartlepool United v Morecambe FC in Sky Bet League Two.

Christian Burgess in action against Burton Albion. Picture by FRANK REID
Christian Burgess in action against Burton Albion. Picture by FRANK REID
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HARTLEPOOL United are leading 1-0 at half-time away to Morecambe FC thanks to a bullet header from Jack Baldwin.

The centre half powered home a header from a Matty Dolan corner in the 17th minute to give Pools a deserved lead at the Globe Arena.

Pools boss Colin Cooper made two changes to his Hartlepool United side for the Sky Bet League Two match away to Morecambe FC.

Nialle Rodney came into the team on the right flank in place of the injured Jack Compton, out with a strained calf, while James Poole returned in place of the suspended Andy Monkhouse.

Youngsters Josh Rowbotham and Lewis Hawkins came onto the bench.

If Pools draw today then it will equal a club record of five successive draws in the football league, matching a similar run in the 2000-2001 season.

Meanwhile, the yellows cards are wiped after today’s match but if Matty Dolan and Simon Walton are booked they would miss the New Year’s Day match at home to Bury FC, as they are both currently on four yellows.

The first chance of the game came for the home side in the 6th minute, with Andrew Fleming curling a 20-yard effort onto Scott Flinders’ bar.

The Pools keeper would have had no chance had it dipped under at the last minute.

Pools’ 17-year-old Bradley Walker had the first sight of goal for Pools, but his 25-yard low drive dribbled along the claggy pitch and into the hands of Barry Roche in the Morecambe goal.

Andy Parrish then saw his effort deflected onto the right-hand post and away for a throw-in as both sides looked to get in front.

But it was Pools that took the lead in the 17th minute through a Jack Baldwin bullet header from six-yards after a pin-point Matty Dolan corner from the right hand side.

It was an unstoppable header from the centre back.

Pools looked a real danger whenever they broke forward and James Poole and Jonathan Franks were linking up well.

But Franks in particular was unable to whip a cross in quickly enough from the flank on several occasions.

There was a short stoppage in the 27th minute while Flinders had to put a new contact lens in but he was eventually ready to continue.

Poole then fired a 30-yard effort at goal in the 30th minute but Barry Roche was equal to it in the Morecambe goal as he flew through the air to palm it away from goal.

Baldwin also went close from another carbon copy corner but he was unable to make the same contact as the defence cleared.

Cooper’s men were on top for most of the first half and spent the majority of the half camped inside the Morecambe half.

Franks went close in the 40th minute but his low shot towards the near post was saved by Roche and away for another corner.

Morecambe then pushed forward as the minutes ticked down to the half-way but Pools managed to hold firm to go into the break leading 1-0.

Half Time: Morecambe FC 0 Pools 1

Pools (4-4-1-1): Flinders, Austin (C), Burgess, Baldwin, Duckworth, Dolan, Burgess, Franks, Rodney, Poole, James.

Subs Nots Used: Rafferty, Collins, Holden, Walton, Sweeney, Rowbotham, Hawkins.

Booked: Austin.

Morecambe FC (4-2-3-1): Roche, Threlfall, Kenyon, Hughes (C), Redhaw, Ellison, McCready, Drummond, Fleming, Parrish, Amond.

Subs Not Used: Arestidou, Diagne, Sampson, McGee, Mwasile, McGowan, Doyle.

Referee: Michael Taylor (Sheffield)