Hartlepool United 1 Wycombe Wanderers 0: Match report, Fenwick wins it for battling Pools

Provider: Nathan Thomas
Provider: Nathan Thomas

Scott Fenwick's sixth goal of the season ensured Hartlepool United beat Wycombe Wanderers for their first league win since November, and earned a vital three points in their battle for League Two survival.

Fenwick’s first half volley, his sixth goal of the season, came after excellent work by debutant Nathan Thomas.

Wycombe pushed hard for a equaliser late in the game but a nervy Pools held out for the crucial win.

Manager Ronnie Moore made one change to the Pools’ side who lost to Derby last week, with winger Nathan Thomas making his debut.

After five minutes Wycombe had the game’s first meaningful effort on goal. Garry Thompson’s cut back found Sam Wood eight yards out but the winger scuffed his shot wide of Trevor Carson’s right hand post.

In the 17th minute Pools had a great chance to score through Thomas. The winger beat Jason McCarthy to the ball on the left wing, drove inside to the edge of the six-yard area but over hit his pass to the unmarked Jake Gray.

Wycombe had a strong penalty appeal turned down midway through the first half when a cross from the right was blocked Nicky Featherstone, with the visitors suggesting the ball hit the Pools midfielder’s arm.

Pools opened the scoring after 33 minutes through Fenwick after brilliant work on the wing from their new boy Thomas.

The winger’s tricks were too much for McCarthy on the left and he fizzed a cross into the box, where Fenwick volleyed home into the roof of the net from six yards.

The goal was just the eighth Gareth Ainsworth’s team had conceded away from home this season and the first first-half goal the visitors had conceded on the road since March.

Wycombe had another effort on goal in the 41st minute but Gozie Ugwu’s shot sailed wide of the right hand post after a neat turn inside the penalty area.

The striker within a whisker of scoring moments later for the visitors when his shot from ten yards flew past the left hand post.

Pools started the second half well and had a good chance after 48 minutes. Gray drove forward on the right played the ball inside to Rhys Oates but Aaron Pierre blocked his shot from ten yards.

In the 59th minute, Wycombe ‘keeper Matt Ingram had to produce a smart save to prevent a Jordan Richards free-kick from just outside the box finding the back of the net.

Pools had a big chance to put the game beyond the visitors in the 65th minute when, after neat play between Oates and Gray, Michael Woods drove into the box but chose to pass eight yards out rather than shoot and the ball was cleared.

Minutes later Carson kept the game level when he tipped a Pierre header over the bar from a corner by Joe Jacobson.

Carson saved well again after 72 minutes from a dipping Jacobson free-kick.

Ugwu had another chance with eight minutes left but the striker fired over after a scramble in the box.

Wycombe pushed hard late on for a goal but the Pools defence led by the excellent Scott Harrison and Adam Jackson kept Wycombe out.

Hartlepool United: Carson, Richards, Harrison, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Woods, Gray (Bingham 78), Oates, Fenwick, Thomas (Hawkins 55).

Unused subs: Bartlett, Jones, Walker, Smith.

Goal: Fenwick 33mins

Booked: Jackson

Wycombe Wanderers: Ingram, McCarthy (Udumaga 68), Jacobson, Stewart, Pierre, Harriman, Bloomfield (Hayes 79), O'Nien, Wood, Ugwu, Thompson (Amadi-Holloway).

Unused subs: Lynch, Jombati, McGinn, Bean,:

Booked: Jacobson, Ugwu

Referee: M Brown

Attendance: 3721 (152 away)