Hartlepool on the right tracks after second win

Scott Fenwick scores for Pools
Scott Fenwick scores for Pools

So far, so good.

Hartlepool United made it two wins in two nights with a comfortble win at Harrogate Railway Athletic.

The only slight black spot on the evening was an early departure for Harry Worley who came off 11 minutes from time feeling his right calf.

In terms of stats, the key numbers are nine (goals scored), 90 (minutes played) and nil (goals conceded).

Last night’s hosts were a step up from Monday evening and while the EvoStik side didn’t cause too many issues, they provided fair opposition for the second friendly.

Pools were brightest at the start of each half at Station View, with the fact they’d already trained on the morning possibly contributing to any slight dips.

All the new boys, with the exception of Carl Magnay and Peter Denton, played and showed up well.

The only slight black spot on the evening was an early departure for Harry Worley who came off 11 minutes from time feeling his right calf.

He fared better than teenager Nat Skidmore who damaged his shoulder, having come on for triallist Leon Dawson.

But, those injuries aside, it was a satisfactory night’s work, a goal in each half, from Lewis Hawkins and Scott Fenwick taking them to victory.

“It was OK at times,” said assistant boss Sam Collins.

“It was a bit similar to Monday night, at Billingham Town, we probably didn’t keep the ball well enough.

“We tried to force things there were too many stray passes and some bad decisions. But it will come.

“We trained on the morning so it’s been a long day and that’s probably why we were a bit leggy.

“When we do pass it well we look a good team and we have good players.

“We’ll keep working at it every day and it will come.”

As boss Ronnie Moore planned, Pools played a different XI each half and last night operated a 3-5-2 formation. All three trialists figured again, Leon Dawson, Fergus Bell and Johnny Giles.

Pools got off to a great start at Station View where Hawkins put the blue and whites in front.

The lively midfielder made a positive run forward and let fly from the centre of the goal, his right-footed shot beating the keeper from 18 yards.

It was almost two within five minutes, but keeper Tom Goodwin got down superbly to his left to keep out Rakesh Bingham’s shot.

Matthew Bates had an opportunity to double the lead on 14 minutes when he met Kudus Oyenuga’s corner from the right, but his free header cleared the crossbar.

Harrogate came close to an equaliser when Trevor Carson played a pass out which put Josh Nearney in trouble.

Jack Stockdill picked up possession and curled an effort towards goal but was just a whisker outside Carson’s top-right corner.

Hawkins almost added his second in the 38th minute but he flashed his shot wide after good combination play between Nearney and Brad Walker.

Walker, fresh from his double at Billingham Town, was next to try his luck from the edge of the area after good work by Hawkins, but the midfielder saw his effort blocked.

Pools came out with an enitrely new XI for the second half and with fresh purpose.

Triallist Leon Dawson’s great cross from the left set up Billy Paynter in the 47th minute but Goodwin made a breathtaking one-handed save down to his left.

Fenwick was next to go close from close range from Bell’s cross, only to see Goodwin palm it away.

Pools had clearly upped the tempo and they went agonisngly close in the 64th minute.

Paynter turned superbly from 30 yards and his right footer looked destined for the goal but the keeper made another flying save to his left.

The Harrogate keeper was playing a blinder, also denying Giles’s shot from edge of box.

But the stopper was finally beaten in the 73rd minute when Fenwick made it 2-0.

He was played in by Stuart Parnaby, with the Geordie completing a good lobbed finish from 18 yards.

New keeper Adam Bartlett enjoyed a quiet but good debut though both Vince Dhesi and Roy Fogarty went close to goals for RA in the dying seconds but were just off target,

Pools First Half: Carson, Richards, Bates, Nearney, Oyenuga, Featherstone, Carroll, Hawkins, Walker, Bingham, Smith.

Pools Second Half: Bartlett, Duckworth, Worley, Parnaby, Green, Bell, Nelson-Addy, Dawson (Skidmore 66, Blackford 76), Giles, Fenwick, Paynter.

Goals: Hawkins 7, Fenwick 73