Hartlepool United 0 Barnet 2: Match report, Pools heading for drop after pitiful defeat

Simeon Akinoloa puts Barnet two up. Picture by FRANK REID
Simeon Akinoloa puts Barnet two up. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United moved closer to the National League after losing shamefullly easily to Barnet at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

Pools, who looked wracked with nerves and offered nothing for the fans to get behind, were sunk by second-half goals by John Akinde and sub Simeon Akinola.

The defeat, allied to Newport County's 1-0 win over Accrington, put Dave Jones's side into the bottom two, two points below the Welksh side.

There was fury at full-time with fans chanting "you're not fit to wear the shirt".

Jones started without top scorer Padraig Amond against the managerless Bees.

It is nine games since Pools managed more than a solitary goal and Hartlepool United went into this must-win clash with their 14-goal top marksman on the bench.

Jones went with Rhys Oates up top which, to be fair to the manager, was not the worst call, given how well the 22-year-old has performed when used through the middle.

Amond's departure was one of two changes made by Jones.

Matthew Bates came in at centre-half after a 12-game absence to partner Scott Harrison at the heart of the defence.

Michael Woods also started having been a sub at Leyton Orient, coming in for the suspended Liam Donnelly, with Nicky Deverdics switching to right-back.

The other big change in the squad was the return of Trevor Carson who was not expected to play again this season aftrer shoulder surgery.

Barnet controlled the first half and had the first chance in the 12th minute when John Akinde's header from six yards was tipped over acrobatically by Joe Fryer.

Pools cleared the corner but only as far as Michael Nelson, the ex-Vic hero scraping the post with a powerful shot from 25 yards.

The home side looked wracked with nerves and could not string two passes together.

Their only 'shot' came from Nathan Thomas but his grass-cutter from outside the box trickled through to keeper Josh Vickers.

Barnet dominated possession but offered no threat to Fryer aside from one save from midfielder Jack Taylor.

Half-time:

Pools 0

Barnet 0

The second half followed the first half pattern with Pools offering nothing and Barnet controlling play without troubling Fryer.

The crowd was lifted just before the hour when Amond came on for Alessandra and again when Pools reached the Barnet box for the first time.

Vickers came out to collect a Deverdics cross but it represented progress.

Barnet made a double change in the 65th minute and were ahead a minute later.

AKINDE got free on the right of the box and rifled a shot past Fryer to his right.

It was almost two in the 69th minute when Campbell-Ryce shot over after leaving Bates for dead.

Jones made his sevcond change, bringing on teenager Jack Blackford for Featherstone.

But it was soon 2-0 when Campbell-Ryce got away down the left and pulled it back to sub AKINOLA who beat Fryuer from eight yards.

Pools won their first corner in the 75th minute, with Harrison flashing a header wide.

Barnet should have made it three from the spot nine minutes from time but Akinde's weak penalty was saved by Fryer.

Pools had some late pressure with Thomas and Oates having shots blocked and there were half-hearted penalty appeals in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Amond's header was blocked from Blackford's cross.

FULL-TIME:

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0

BARNET 2

Pools:Fryer, Magnay, Bates, Harrison, Deverdics, Walker, Featherstone (Blackford 69), Woods, Thomas, Oates, Alessandra (Amond 59)

Unused Subs: Carson, Hawkins, Rooney, Rodney

Barnet: Vickers, Taylor, Nelson, Clough, Johnson, J Taylor (Fonguck 89), Weston, Izquierdo, Shomotun (Akinola 65), J Akinde, Campbell-Ryce

Unused Subs: McKenzie-Lyle, Santos, Coulson, S Akinde,

Goals: Akinde 66, Akinola 71

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Att: 4,208 (away 203)