Orrell hits hat-trick as Hartlepool thrash Bradford City

Action from Pools Reserves' big win against Bradford City today
Action from Pools Reserves' big win against Bradford City today

Jake Orrell netted a 35-minute hat-trick as Hartlepool United Reserves ran riot in the second half of their Central League Cup clash against Bradford City.

The Bantams had frustrated Pools in a goalless first half on a barmy afternoon at Billingham Town.

Pools were not without chances in the opening period.

But Sam Collins’s side were red-hot after the interval with Brad Walker and Connor Smith also on the mark as the second string maintained their great start to the season with a 5-0 win.

Pools were not without chances in the opening period with Smith having an effort deflected on to the bar before setting up a glorious opening for Walker who somehow shot over from close in.

Triallist Isaac Assenso was also thwarted by the Bradford keeper.

But Pools were ahead in the opening seconds of the second half when Smith broke down the right to cross for Jake Orrell who headed past George Kenworthy.

Orrell doubled the lead inside five minutes when he got on the end of a long ball over the top and rounded the goalie.

Jack Blackford was denied by the keeper in the 65th minute and four minutes later sub Nat Skidmore went just wide with a low left-footed shot.

But Pools wrapped things up in in the 73rd minute when Walker produced a special finish when he fired into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area.

Pools were not finished and six minutes later, Kieran Green found James Martin on the left flank. He powered through before finding Orrell who got the better of his marker before forcing the ball home to complete his treble.

Orrell was given a breather but his replacement, Liam Travers, was close to making it five after Blackford and Smith combined well.

After being kept out by the keeper, the sub had another chance from a Blackford cross but his header was off-target.

A fifth seemed inevitable though Pools had to wait until injury-time when Smith showed a great touch and feet to find the net.

Collins was thrilled with the display.

“The players were excellent,” said the development coach.

“If I am being hyper-critical, in the first half that last bit of quality wasn’t there in the final third, whether it was a through ball, cross or shot.

“We spoke at half-time about improving and the players did just that.

“It’s a young group of players, but their attitude is fantastic, they listen and buy into what we want from them.

“That was probably the best we’ve played so far.”

Pools: Catterick, Richardson, Martin, Green, Assenso (Wood 82), Pollock, Smith, Walker (Owen 82), Orrell (Travers 80), Hawkes (Skidmore 68), Blackford.

Sub not used: Moloney.