WHITE-HOT LEWIS IS FOUR-STAR

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

HARTLEPOOL United made it six points from two home games in a mat­ter of days to ease the pres­sure at the foot of League Two – now new boss Dave Jones has told his play­ers that must be­come the norm.

Pools are un­beaten at home in five games un­der Jones, as the ex­pe­ri­enced man­ager makes a big im­pact at the club.

The Gre­cians had 11 wins and two draws away from home prior to their hike to the north east and looked like adding to that record, un­til a stun­ning three-minute sec­ond-half spell turned the game on its head, with Lewis Alessan­dra and Padraig Amond net­ting in quick suc­ces­sion.

Ol­lie Watkins had given the Gre­cians the lead but Alessan­dra’s sec­ond in in­jury-time put the game beyond doubt.

And af­ter beat­ing Crewe on Tues­day, Pools made it seven goals in two games. Un­char­tered ter­ri­tory for them this sea­son.

Jones said: “A 4-0 and clean sheet like the other night should hap­pen all the time. Maybe we will get to that stage.

“Once we got the lev­eller our con­fi­dence came out. It’s been a good week for us.

“We changed for­ma­tion to 44-2 and if you say I changed it sec­ond half then great, but it was a good team per­for­mance by every­one.

“I don’t like pick­ing any­one out, but sec­ond half Rhys Oates and Lewis Alessan­dra worked hard.

“The whole back five did what we asked. We had a lot of the ball, but that fi­nal pass wasn’t there in the first half.”

The Gre­cians should have taken an early lead. Reuben Reid’s shot was par­ried by keeper Joe Fryer and David Wheeler some­how volleyed against the bar from five yards.

But they did go in front when Watkins brushed off a chal­lenge from Sean Ka­vanagh, cut in­side and fired a low, pow­er­ful drive past Fryer from 20 yards.

Pools were strug­gling to re­spond and the game was pass­ing them by. But Jones changed for­ma­tion and the de­ci­sion paid off quickly.

Nathan Thomas cut in from the right and found Alessan­dra, who deftly volleyed in from a tight an­gle to level.

The Gre­cians claimed a penalty when Watkins went to ground, but ref­eree Rob Lewis played on and Pools broke away. Rhys Oates fed Amond and he fin­ished in style, crack­ing his shot high past Bobby Ole­jnik.

Alessan­dra and Amond both had chances to fin­ish the game off, and in the end the for­mer made it four goals in a week from mid­field as he fired in con­fi­dently from the edge of the area. Gre­cians boss Paul Tis­dale said: “It was a very com­fort­able 65 min­utes and then it all changed with the bounce of a ball and a cou­ple of good fin­ishes and we were left chas­ing the game. “We were in com­plete con­trol and apart from scor­ing sec­ond goal we did ev­ery­thing right. We played re­ally well, the play­ers were on top of their games no doubt about it.

“It shows the fragility of a 1-0 lead. You have to hold your nerve and we lost three points.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

LEV­ELLER: Lewis Alessan­dra cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing Hartlepool United's first goal

TACKLE: Brad Walker tracks back

STAR MAN RHYS OATES Hartlepool

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