In­con­sis­tent Hartle­pool pay the price EBBSFLEET 3 HARTLE­POOL 0

Sunday Sun - - Football -

CRAIG Har­ri­son bandied about the F-word as Hartle­pool United suf­fered a pro­mo­tion set-back: Frus­tra­tioin.

Just four days af­ter lead­ing Pools to the big­gest win of his six-month reign at Vic­to­ria Park, a 4-0 rout of Hal­i­fax, he wit­nessed his heav­i­est de­feat at Stone­bridge Road.

Pools dropped two places in the Na­tional League, from 11th to 13th, with the South East Lon­don side leapfrog­ging them in the ta­ble.

Myles We­ston gave Fleet the lead mid­way through the first half, with skip­per Danny Ked­well dou­bling the ad­van­tage at the half-way stage of the sec­ond half.

Luke Coul­son’s sweet shot late on added the coup de grace,

“Frus­tra­tion is the word,” said Har­ri­son. “We’ve been noth­ing like we were on Tues­day night.

“We’re lack­ing con­sis­tency. We were poor last Satur­day, bril­liant on Tues­day and av­er­age to­day. That’s not good enough for our stan­dards.

“As ridicu­lous as this sounds, I don’t think at any point of the game we’ve been un­der real pres­sure.

“It’s so frus­trat­ing, we’ve given away three bad goals.

“They scored their first from a set-piece, the sec­ond from a poorly-de­fended cross and the third when we’ve been stretched.

“I don’t re­call them hav­ing a spell of pres­sure.”

Har­ri­son had the lux­ury of nam­ing an un­changed start­ing XI for the first time since the start of Oc­to­ber, and they looked con­fi­dent in the ball.

How­ever, for all their pos­ses­sion, they could not fash­ion an open­ing.

Not that Ebbsfleet were over­flow­ing with chances, but the Kent side did go ahead in the 22nd minute.

We­ston brought a top drawer save from Scott Loach who tipped his de­flected shot over for a cor­ner.

And the mid­fielder, re­called into the Fleet XI, got con­trol of the ball from the cor­ner with his shot from the edge of the area de­ceiv­ing the Pools keeper who could not keep it out.

Pools re­sponded with a good spell of pos­ses­sion and pres­sure with Jake Cas­sidy hav­ing a shot blocked by Kenny Clark

Sean Shields went ag­o­nis­ingly close to a sec­ond for Fleet when he flashed a shot just wide of Loach’s left stick.

Pools have made a habit of sec­ond-half come­backs and they fi­nally got a sight of Nathan Ash­more’s goal with two chances in­side five sec­ond-half min­utes.

Michael Woods teed up De­vante Rod­ney with Ash­more sav­ing well low to his right.

There was another open­ing from the side’s first cor­ner, Louis Laing head­ing over the top from Nicky Deverdics’ de­liv­ery.

But Pools were rocked in the 68th minute when Shields did su­perb work on the left to cross into the six-yard area where Ked­well nod­ded home at the back post.

Pools had ap­peals for a spot­kick turned down in the 72nd minute when Rhys Oates went down.

That could have proved a route back, but it was all over eight min­utes from time.

We­ston and Sam Ma­gri com­bined nicely down the right with the ball de­liv­ered to Coul­son who pro­duced a sweet fin­ish from the edge of the area into the keeper’s right-hand cor­ner.

“That’s the first time we’ve con­ceded three times in the league and it’s not good enough,” added Har­ri­son.

TOM KING

Gateshead keeper Dan Han­ford clears dur­ing their 1-1 draw at Soli­hull Moors

TOM KING

Gateshead’s Rob­bie Tin­kler makes a tackle against Soli­hull Moors

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