HALF-TIME REPORT: Notts County 1 v 0 Pools

HARTLEPOOL United trail 1-0 at Notts County after a lethargic first-half display in which they have failed to threaten the home goal.

The Magpies have dominated the opening period amid driving rain at Meadow Lane and they have the only goal, courtesy of Francois Zoko.

A disjointed opening to the game owed much to unrelenting rain and neither side appeared comfortable.

But it was County who found their feet sooner than Pools and they duly took the lead on 16 minutes.

Julian Kelly’s floated cross should not have presented too much of a danger to the visitors, but Zoko climbed highest amid a sea of bodies to steer a 10-yard header into the bottom corner.

It should have been two when slack marking afforded Lee Hughes the freedom of the six-yard area from Alan Sheehan’s free-kick but the striker could only glance into the palms of a relieved Scott Flinders.

Hughes again went close on 35 minutes when he scampered free in behind the Pools backline.

The sodden surface slowed his progress but a low drive from 20 yards could only be palmed clear by Flinders who had to be quick to snaffle the loose ball from the fast-closing Alan Judge.