SHEFF UTD ......2 HARTLE­POOL ..3 Hartle­pool claim only sec­ond win of sea­son

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Thomas Han­nah

DANNY Wil­son called it a “flick in the knack­ers” and there’s lit­tle doubt Hartle­pool United caused some shock pain on Sh­effield United.

Bot­tom of the ta­ble Pools turned the ta­bles as they sur­pris­ingly won at the top of the ta­ble side.

And, on the day which was sup­posed to be all about cel­e­brat­ing 150 years of foot­ball at Bra­mall Lane, there was only the vis­i­tors en­joy­ing the oc­ca­sion.

It was only Pools’ sec­ond win of the sea­son and the first time they have scored three goals in a game this sea­son. Their pre­vi­ous win was 22 games ago.

“We were miss­ing some key play­ers in key ar­eas and it has cost us,’’ said Wil­son. “Neill Collins was a big miss at the back.

“There was a big void in the team with all due re­spect to those who came in.

“We have to go again at Don­caster on Tues­day. This was a flick in the knack­ers if you like and this was just that and some­times you need that to kick you into ac­tion.

“Ex­pec­ta­tion lev­els are very high at this club and we don’t want that to drift away.

“Maybe the pitch wasn’t con­ducive to how we want to play the game, but we have to deal with it.

“We go to Don­caster, give it a good go and there’s no pres­sure on us.’’

Pools took a shock lead on five min­utes when Howard pow­ered in a close range header, climb­ing above Matthew Hill, af­ter Evan Hor­wood re­turned the ball in the area.

And the big striker could have scored again but fired wide, as did Char­lie Wyke be­fore 20 min­utes was up and be­fore a chance for the home side.

The Blades first open­ing came on 28 min­utes, Scott Flin­ders sav­ing su­perbly from Nick Black­man.

Two min­utes later he was beaten by a rou­tine shot by Michael Doyle, palm­ing the ball into his own net af­ter be­ing wrong-footed.

Pools, whacked 3-0 at Carlisle on Box­ing Day, re­fused to crum­ble and then took the lead again in an or­gan­ised and well-drilled per­for­mance.

Ritchie Humphreys turned in a close range fin­ish from an­other Hor­wood cross and then Howard amaz­ingly made it three with an­other header from eight yards af­ter good work from James Poole out wide.

In scor­ing two, he took his tally for the sea­son to three.

Pools de­fended in num­bers mag­nif­i­cently and were only breached when Harry Maguire drilled in with the last kick of the game af­ter soaking up their share of pres­sure.

It was a first win for new boss John Hughes at the sev­enth at­tempt af­ter five de­feats.

“It was sweet,’’ he said.“It was a heavy pitch that suited us and to come here to the lead­ers and score three goals is fan­tas­tic.

“Hopefully this gives us con­fi­dence and mo­men­tum to press on and get out of this sit­u­a­tion. “We knew they would have a right go at us and we stood up to it in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively.We had to match them and we did it.’’

PIC­TURES: Mar­tyn Har­ri­son

DOU­BLE TROU­BLE: Steve Howard scores Hartle­pool’s first goal

MY BALL: Steve Howard re­fuses to be beaten to the ball as he scores



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