Hartlepool United 1 AFC Fylde 2: SIXTH National League loss on bounce for Pools despite Liam Noble return

Liam Noble.
Liam Noble.

A late penalty from controversial midfield man Liam Noble was not enough to prevent Hartlepool United slipping to their SIXTH National League defeat on the bounce.

Danny Rowe gave visitors Fylde the lead on the stroke of half time before Arthur Gnahoua doubled the visitors advantage.

Luke James in action in Pools' defeat.

Luke James in action in Pools' defeat.

Noble tucked in his eighth of the campaign from the spot in the closing 10 minutes but it again Pools were unable to muster an equaliser.

Having been the centre of controversy on Saturday, Noble was recalled to the substitutes bench, while Matthew Bates made two changes from the side beaten at Dover.

In came Conor Newton and Josh Hawkes, with Tyrone O'Neill and Peter Kioso dropping out. The game also saw a switch in system to a 4-2-3-1.

The first 45, much like 70 minutes on Saturday, was one Pools will be keen to forget.

Carl Magnay saved Pools' early blushes by clearing one off the line before Scott Loach had to be at his very best to deny a Gime Toure header from close range.

The home side's luck only lasted so far, though. Come the 44th minute they were behind. Rowe headed home a cross from the left for 1-0.

At the other end, Pools had threatened, with Ryan Donaldson fluffing his lines when just six yards from goal and the impressive Josh Hawkes trying his luck from distance after one of his now trademark mazy runs.

Chasing their tails yet again, Pools never really looked like getting back into this one.

Rowe was again denied by Loach when clean through before Donaldson was denied quite brilliantly by Jay Lynch at the other end.

A double save from Loach kept Pools in it but the inevitable came on 74 when substitute Gnahoua cracked in a second.

An inexplicable handball in the area handed Pools a lifeline on 84. Noble, in from the cold, made no mistake from 12 yards but it was again, too little, too late for Pools.