Hartlepool 3 Dover 2: Late Luke Molyneux strike seals Pools win as they come from two goals down AGAIN

Luke Molyneux scored a Hartlepool United winner in added time as they came from two goals down to take all three points from Dover Athletic.

Saturday, 9th March 2019, 3:59 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th March 2019, 4:08 pm
Josh Hawkes slots in the second of his penalties for Pools.

Josh Hawkes was Hartlepool United's man on the spot as he netted two second half penalties to seemingly rescue a National League point from two goals down.

But Molyneux popped in late on to win it.

For the second week in a row Pools were forced to chase the game as Alfie Pavey then Jai Reason put Dover Athletic two goals up at the break.

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But Hawkes made no mistake from 12 yards as he netted twice in four second half minutes then Molyneux, who changed the game off the bench, netted his first in blue in white on 91 minutes.

Manager Craig Hignett made just the one change from the side who rescued a draw from the jaws of defeat down at Sutton United, with new boy David Edgar coming into the back three with injured youngster Aaron Cunningham making way.

It was nip and tuck in the early stages as neither side really got to grips with the difficult conditions - a blustery wind was making Dover's long ball tactics particularly ineffective.

While the conditions made it tough, it was the hosts who were caught napping, after a flat start at the Super 6 Stadium. On 28 minutes Dover took the lead with a quite wonderful strike, even if there was a hint of offside about it.

Pavey, catching the backline and Scott Loach off guard, clipped a ball home from the right. While it was excellent finishing from the visiting frontman, Hignett will not be happy with the ease at which his side allowed the opener to play out.

It went from bad to worse for Pools soon after as the impressive Reason found space in the middle before cracking into the same corner as Pavey 11 minutes earlier.

Having been right in it just before the half hour, Pools were well and truly out of it six before the break.

Hignett did attempt to arrest the decline with a change before the break, taking the struggling Mark Kitching off, with Luke Molyneux slotting in on the left. That altered slightly in the second 45 as the manager reverted to a 4-2-3-1.

The change did change the emphasis, somewhat, as Pools' three behind Kabamba began to find pockets of space.

Sub Molyneux went close to reducing the arrears of 50, but his low effort cutting in from the right was saved by the feet of Lee Worgan.

Molyneux again was chief creator for Pools as he jinked past the challenge of three Dover defenders before cracking at goal. His effort was saved. From the resulting corner debutant Edgar headed a Liam Noble centre off the bar. In the melee that ensued Pools made a call for a handball in the area but referee Lloyd Wood was unmoved.

The formation switch really seemed to suit the Pools personnel - in an attacking sense, at least.

While they continued to look a little open at the back, they looked potent in the final third with Molyneux and Luke James the catalyst.

And it was Molyneux who gave Josh Hawkes the chance to score from the spot on 69 when he crossed directly on to the hand of Bobby-Joe Taylor and referee Lloyd Wood pointed at the spot.

As cool as you like Hawkes put the ball past Worgan, via the post, for 2-1.

Just four minutes later he was given the chance to score again, this time as Luke James was bundled over in the area by the clumsy Kevin Lokko.

Having gone to the keeper's left, this time he went right and it was the same result as Pools again came from two goals down for the second time in seven days.

As ambitious as ever - a Hignett trait - Pools pushed for a winner.

And the crowd were in raptures as Sunderland loan man Molyneux won it in the 91st minute to take all three points, which looked dead and buried at the break.

The result saw Pools climb to 12th in the National League table.