Hartlepool United 1 Plymouth Argyle 2: Match report, Pools give it away

Ronnie Moore: will be furious at late give-away
Ronnie Moore: will be furious at late give-away

Hartlepool United conceded a last-minute winner against Plymouth Argyle to suffer their fourth straight league defeat.

Kelvin Mellor’s 90th minute winner cancelled out a late Scott Fenwick penalty for Pools who produced a spirited performance at Victoria Park.

Plymouth had taken the lead through Carl McHugh in the second half while Pools had strong appeals for a first half penalty turned down.

Pools made three changes from Tuesday’s cup tie against Salford with Michael Woods, Kal Naismith and Scott Harrison coming in for Rakish Bingham, Connor Smith and the injured Carl Magnay.

Ronnie Moore reverted to a 4-4-3 formation with Scott Fenwick given the loan strikers role following his extra-time FA Cup goal

Pools started on the front foot forcing two corners within the first four minutes but it was the visitors who had the first effort on goal.

Craig Tanner crossed from the left but full back Kevin Mellor could only head wide after climbing above Jake Carroll at the back post.

The hosts had their first effort on goal in the 16th minute when Fenwick found Jake Gray in the area but the Crystal Palace loanee fired straight at keeper Luke McCormick from a tight angle.

Pools had a huge shout for a penalty after 18 minutes. Gray was again played in down the right and cut the ball back towards the penalty spot.

Michael Woods met the cross and fired an effort on goal, only to see it blocked by former Pools defender Peter Hartley.

Woods was convinced a hand blocked his shot but the referee waved away the appeals.

Pools had the better of the opening half and created another chance after 40 minutes.

Plymouth failed to clear a free kick, given for a foul on Woods, and the ball fell to Adam Jackson who could only fire wide at the back post.

The home side left the field to a warm round of applause at half-time after an impressive first-half display.

Pools came out of the traps quickly after the break, threatening the Plymouth goal through Oates, which was followed by three wayward efforts on goal from the visitors.

Derek Adams’ side came within inches of opening the scoring five minutes into the second half when Tanner swung in a cross from the right but Ryan Brunt flicked his header just wide of the back post.

After sustaining a long period of Plymouth pressure, Pools had their first effort on goal of the second half through Fenwick. Substitute, Rakish Bingham cut in from the left, played the ball to Fenwick on the edge of the area but the striker fired over, high into the Town End.

Moments later Ronnie Moore’s side had another effort on goal when Naismith’s inswinging corner was met by Jackson, but the Pools man headed over.

Plymouth opened the scoring in the 77th minute through McHUGH. The midfielder was given too much space on the edge of the area and stroked the ball home into the bottom left hand corner, past Trevor Carson.

Pools were awarded their spot kick in the 83rd minute when, following a Scott Harrison from the left, Kelvin Mellor was penalised for holding onto Fenwick in the box.

FENWICK stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, slotting the ball into the bottom left corner for his second goal of the week.

The Plymouth Argyle winner came in the 90th minute as Kelvin Mellor atoned for his foul for the Pools penalty.

After Kal Naismith gave the ball away on the left, Plymouth worked the ball to their on rushing full-back who found the bottom left hand corner.

Hartlepool United: Carson, Harrison, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Gray (Mandron 81), Woods, Naismith, Fenwick, Oates (Bingham 55).

Unused subs: Bartlett, Richards, Walker, Oyenuga, Smith,

Goals: Fenwick 85

Booked: Gray,

Plymouth Argyle: McCormick, Mellor, Sawyer, McHugh, Nelson, Hartley, Wylde (Purrington), Jervis (Harvey 65), Brunt (Smalley 90), Threlkeld, Tanner

Unused subs: Bentley, Hall, Rooney, Walton

Goals: McHugh 77, Mellor 90

Booked: Mellor 84

Referee: G Salisbury

Att: 3,534