New-look defence pays off for Pools

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

HARTLE­POOL United eased their own league sit­u­a­tion with only their sec­ond win in 12 games – but heaped the pres­sure on Da­gen­ham in the process.

Billy Payn­ter’s first-half header sep­a­rated the strug­gling sides, leav­ing the Dag­gers floun­der­ing in the bot­tom two and with­out a home win this sea­son.

Coach War­ren Hack­ett said:“When you dom­i­nate a game that much you ex­pect to get some­thing out of it.We’ve had at least 11 scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. So we’re nat­u­rally dis­ap­pointed.

“It was a soft goal to con­cede. The dis­ap­point­ing thing for us is that they’ve had one or two op­por­tu­ni­ties and they’ve taken that one.

“We didn’t take our op­por­tu­ni­ties to score, we were al­ways on the front foot and try­ing to get the ball into the box.

“Yes, we got beaten but if we carry on with the right en­deav­our well come through.”

Pools, af­ter ship­ping nine goals in three games, changed three of their back four and their goal­keeper – and kept a first clean sheet in five games.

On-loan Lu­ton de­fender Mag­nus Okuong­hae started and was dom­i­nant, while be­hind him Trevor Car­son was solid in his han­dling.

The Dag­gers only had half chances, as Ashley Hem­mings bounced a close range ef­fort into Car­son, be­fore Kane Fer­di­nand shot wide.

The only goal came when Dan Jones crossed from the left and Payn­ter was free to loop home a header – his sixth of the sea­son.

Okuong­hae headed wide at the start of the sec­ond half, and from then on Pools sat deep, con­tent to de­fend.

Dag­gers sub­sti­tute Jodi Jones was in­tro­duced at half-time and was a lively threat out wide. A cross from the flank al­most caught Car­son out when it sailed to­wards the top cor­ner, but he held onto it well.

Vis­it­ing de­fender Scott Harrison swiped at a loose ball and was re­lieved to see it fly over his own bar.

Jamie Cure­ton wasted one open­ing, fail­ing to con­nect with an early shot, and in in­jury time he slipped in front of goal and screwed wide.

Vis­it­ing boss Ron­nie Moore said:“It’s only Scotty Harrison who sur­vived at the back from last week.We made changes and we asked big Mags to go and head it and he or­gan­ised things.

“It was a great goal, the de­liv­ery was good and Paynts just peeled into space to head in, we de­served to win.

“We had some heart at­tack mo­ments as balls came into the box and we got our foot in. Cure­ton had one real chance at the end – maybe we got a bit of luck there for once be­cause that hasn’t hap­pened for us lately.”

PIC­TURES: TGSPHOTO

STAR MAN LIAM SER­COMBE Ox­ford

United GREAT SCOTT: Team-mates con­grat­u­late Scott Kashket af­ter his late equaliser, pic­tured in­set

STAR MAN JODI JONES Dag &

Red

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