Hartlepool United 1 Barnet 3: Pools suffer fourth-straight National League loss

Niko Muir in action for Hartlepool United against Barnet.
Niko Muir in action for Hartlepool United against Barnet.

A quickfire brace by Manny Duku saw Hartlepool United suffer a 3-1 defeat at home to Barnet, extending the losing streak in the league to four games.

Pools took an early lead through the recalled Peter Kioso but Duku struck twice inside a minute to sink Pools, Barnet leapfrogging Pools, in 12th, in the National League.

Sub Josh Walker added a late third and there were boos at the final whistle after another poor home showing.

Matthew Bates made two changes for the televised National League fixture against Barnet, a couple of places below Pools prior to kick-off.

In came on-loan Boro striker Tyrone O'Neill with Marcus Dinanga dropping to the bench, he partnered Luke James up top. The other change saw Peter Kioso return after his one-match ban.

The defender replaced the suspense Carl Magnay at the back, with Bates keeping faith the 4-4-2 system that served Pools so well in the goalless at Gillingham in the FA Cup.

And it was Kioso that put Pools in front. The ball into the box from the right was missed by keeper Mark Cousins, Paddy McLaughlin had the chance to turn home into open goal but scuffs

his chance. Kioso on hand to divert in via the post.

Pools, who had lost their last three National League games, were worthy leaders, having started the game well with crisp passing and movement. They almost doubled their lead, Barnet

midfielder Charlie Adams heading wide of his own post.

The game then turned on its head within the space of a minute.

The first Barnet goal saw dangerman Duku powerfully head home a Dan Sweeney cross from the right flank.

Moments later, Duku dispossessed Kioso and cleverly dinked his shot past Scott Loach in the Pools goal.

Barnet had the better of the exchanges in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, sub Byron Harrison dinking the ball just wide of Loach's goal from a tight angle.

There were boos from a frustrated home crowd as the ball drifted just wide.

Bates made a change with 64 minutes on the clock, O'Neill, whose influence had waned after a bright opening to the game, subbed for Niko Muir.

It sparked Pools into life, Richardson crossing to James at the back post, his header hit the back of a defender and cleared behind for a corner.

It didn't last long, Barnet almost scored a third with 74 minutes on the clock, sub Josh Walker this time shooting just wide as Loach closed him down. Another warning sign.

James saw header drift harmlessly wide before another effort from inside the area was blocked for a corner.

Bates made a second attacking sub with Marcus Dinanga on for McLaughlin with 12 minutes to go, joining Muir and James up front.

It remained Loach who was the busier keeper, saving from Taylor's powerful strike as the clock ticked towards the 90 minute mark.

Noble saw an effort blocked by the determined Barnet defence.

The visitors did add a late third, Josh Walker took advantage of some more slack defending from Anderson before coolly finishing past Loach to leave Pools on the end of another league defeat.


FT: Hartlepool United 1 Barnet 3

Pools: Loach, Richardson, Kioso, Anderson, Kitching, Donaldson, Noble (C), Featherstone, McLaughlin (Dinanga, 78), James, O’Neill (Muir, 64)

Subs: Butler, Hawkes, Newton.

Goal: Kioso (10)

Bookings: Anderson.

Barnet: Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds, Robson, Adams, Taylor, Fonguck, Sweeney, Duku (Harrison, 45), Bettamer (Walker, 69)

Barnet subs: Matrevics, Harrison, Sparkes, Elito.

Goal: Duku (24, 25), Walker (90+4).

Bookings: None

Referee: M. Woods.

Attendance: 3,545 (Barnet 47)