Hartlepool United 0 Aldershot 2: Poor Pools suffer home defeat

Nicky Featherstone looks to close down Callum Reynolds. Picture by TOM BANKS
Nicky Featherstone looks to close down Callum Reynolds. Picture by TOM BANKS

Hartlepool United's hopes of breaking into the National League's top seven suffered a blow with a fourth home defeat of the season.

It was a dreadful display by Pools who did not fashion one attempt on target all afternoon.

Aldershot, who began the day seventh in the table, went ahead in the 44th minute through Bernard Mensah's clever header.

James Kellerman sealed the deal four minutes fro time with a superb finish.

Jake Cassidy came in for his first Hartlepool United start since August against the Shots.

The former Wales U21 forward made his return to the squad as a second-half sub at Boreham Wood last weekend, with Craig Harrison bring him into his XI against the Shots.

Harrison made one change at the back with Liam Donnelly returning at centre-half after serving a one-match ban. He replaced Louis Laing who failed to make the match-day 16.

The first half was 'up' there with the worst football seen this season.

After a drab opening there was almost a second of excitement in the 27th minute as Nicky Deverdics nearly got Devante Rodney through. Keeper Lewis Ward came out to collect but the forward was offside anyway.

Five minutes before the breat there was finally a shot as Rodney, backing in heavily, fired high over the bar with an overhead shot.

Having produced little themselves, the Shots took the lead a minute before the interval, Cheye Alexander crossing from the right for MENSAH from inside the box.

Pools hardly came out firing, with Aldershot having the first attempt of the half, Adam McDonnell flashing a shot just wide of Loach's left stick.

But Pools did have an attempt at goal soon after Deverdics heading over from a Franks cross from the left.

Pools were lucky not to be 2-0 down in the 64th minute, when Will Evans headed in from a free-kick only for the linesman's offside flag to save them.

Harrison brought on all three subs, Rhys Oates, Jack Munns and Michael Woods replacing Rodney, Blair Adams and Luke George.

But, for all the intent, there was no real threat from the home side.

The first ball on target for Pools arrived in the 81st minute, though it was a cross from Kenton Richardson which Ward collected at his near post.

It was all over in the 8th minute, when Shots hit Pools on break, KELLERMAN with an excellent finish from the edge of the box after being put clean through.

FULL-TIME
HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0
ALDERSHOT TOWN 2

Pools: Loach, Richardson, Donnelly, Harrison, Adams (Munns 69), George (Woods 69), Featherstone, Deverdics, Rodney (Oates 60), Cassidy, Franks.
Unused subs: Ledger, Newton
Booked: Cassidy 54

Aldershot: Ward, Alexander, Reynolds, Rowe, Fowler, Evans, McDonnell, Kellerman, Fenelon (Lyons-Foster 89), Robert (Gallagher 71), Mensah (Rendell 68)
Unused Sub: Skinner
Goal: Mensah 44, Kellerman 86
Booked: Rowe 49
Referee: D Middleton
Att: 3,732 (away 187)