Wycombe 5 Hartlepool United 0: Embarrassment for Pools

Hartlepool United were embarrassed at Wycombe Wanderers as the league’s bottom club smashed five without reply, writes Craig Hope.

The Chairboys equalled their biggest-ever league win thanks to goals from Charlton Athletic loanees Paul Hayes (2) and Gary Doherty and a brace from man-of-the-match Stuart Beavon.

The opening goal arrived after just six minutes and it won’t make pleasant viewing for Pools’ centre-back pairing Sam Collins and Peter Hartley.

Skipper Collins misjudged a header on halfway and that allowed Hayes to collect and drive at his team-mate.

Hartley was caught flat footed and the debutant poked home at the second attempt after Scott Flinders had saved his initial effort.

And Collins might want to look away when it comes to a re-run of the hosts’ second goal, Doherty out-muscling him from a corner-kick to head into the top corner on 11 minutes.

Pools were struggling to create anything at the other end but Antony Sweeney did go close with an improvised overhead-kick bounced narrowly wide.

And it took until the 33rd-minute before the visitors registered a shot on target, James Brown testing Nikki Bull from 25 yards.

But another defensive howler was to prove Pools’ undoing for the third three minutes before the break, Evan Horwood’s underhit back pass allowing Beavon to nick in beyond a stranded Flinders and slot into the empty net.

Cooper physically hauled several of his players from the pitch when the whistle sounded for the end of the first half and he acted by replacing Steve Haslam with Adam Boyd during the interval.

But nothing changed and the fourth arrived on 55 minutes, albeit in controversial fashion.

Flinders, attempting to boot downfield from his hands, saw his clearance blocked by Beavon at point-blank range.

The forward seized upon the loose ball before squaring for Hayes to tuck home his second.

There was a brief response from Pools and Boyd saw a header blocked on the line by Marvin McCoy and Neil Austin’s 20-yard curler was flapped over the bar by Bull.

But the Chairboys had their fifth 20 minutes from time when the impressive Beavon got the better of Austin before drilling into the bottom corner from 18 yards.