Hartlepool off to flying start with 2-0 win over Morecambe

Billy Paynter in action for Hartlepool United
Billy Paynter in action for Hartlepool United

Goals from new signings Billy Paynter and Rakish Bingham ensured Hartlepool United got the new League Two season off to a winning start.

Captain Paynter was involved in both goals in the 2-0 win over Morecambe at a sun-kissed Victoria Park, nodding Pools in front after 25 minutes.

Bingham sealed the win mid-way through the second-half with a drilled effort after a sublime dink from his strike partner.

Moore named six of his summer signings for the opening game, with Pools lining up in an attacking 4-3-3 line-up, a change from the 3-5-2 favoured by Moore.

Pools, sporting their new strip, were bright from the off. The passing and interchange between the front three and Nicky Featherstone and Michael Woods was crisp.

Michael Duckworth forced a good block from Andy Parrish early on, while Scott Fenwick saw his attempt from the edge of the area comfortably saved by Barry Roche.

Morecambe went closest to opening the scoring, Ryan Edwards with a firm header that powered off the crossbar 15 minutes in.

Pools took a deserved lead after 25 minutes, captain Billy PAYNTER with his 100th league goal of his career.

Woods had seen his shot well saved by Roche, the ball fell to Bingham on the left-hand side of the area and the ex-Mansfield striker flighted a cross to Paynter who nodded home.

It was far from comfortable though, Jamie Devitt should have scored after beating the off-side trap - despite strong protests from the home side - his effort sailing wide.

Fenwick was denied a penalty up the other end after being shoved by Beeley in the box, but referee Darren England waved it away.

Half-Time: Pools 1 Morecambe 0

Lee Molyneux should have made it 1-1 within six minutes of the re-start but he sidefooted his effort well wide from just eight yards out.

Bingham then rounded Roche but dallied when he should have taken his shot earlier.

Morecambe continued to press, with Pools looking exposed when The Shrimps counter-attacked.

Pools were living a little dangerously at the back but BINGHAM made it 2-0 in the 65th to extend their lead.

It was a fine goal, Woods played in Paynter who dinked a delightful ball over the Morecambe defence to the onrushing Bingham, who drilled the ball low past Roche.

Ellison hit the bar for the visitors with 15 minutes left on the clock, the veteran winger getting the better of Duckworth before unleashing a fierce effort high of the woodwork.

Bartlett made a fine late save to deny Devitt, diving low to his left.

Pools comfortably saw out the rest of the game though, starting the new season with a solid win.

Full-Time: Pools 2 Morecambe 0

Pools (4-3-3): Bartlett, Duckworth, Harrison, Worley, Carroll, Magnay, Featherstone, Woods, Fenwick (Smith, 80), Paynter (C), Bingham (Oates, 87)

Subs Not Used: Denton, Bates, Hawkins, Nelson-Addy, Oyenuga, Oates.

Booked: Harrison (30), Fenwick (48), Magnay (83), Duckworth (89)

Goals: Paynter (25), Bingham (65)

Morecambe: (4-3-3): Roche, Beeley, Edwards, Devitt, Murphy (C) (Kenyon, 11), Molyneux (Miller, 71), Ellison, Mullin (Ryan, 85), Wildig, Wilson, Parrish.

Subs Not Used: Thompson, McGowan, Goodall, Fleming.

Booked: Mullin (84)

Goals: None

Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire)

Attendance: 4,289 (247 Morecambe)