All yes­ter­day’s ac­tion from the Na­tional League

O’s suc­cumb to Pools’ charge

The Non-League Football Paper - - NEWS - By GE­ORGE SES­SIONS

AWEEK can be a long time in foot­ball, but Hartle­pool United man­ager Craig Harrison has en­joyed what he has seen from his team over the past seven days.

Goals from Jonathan Franks and Rhys Oates earned the Mon­key Hang­ers a de­served 2-1 suc­cess at Ley­ton Ori­ent on Satur­day in front of the BT Sport cam­eras.

It was Hartle­pool’s fifth Na­tional League game with­out a de­feat and con­tin­ues their ex­cel­lent start to Septem­ber.

Harrison said: “We have had a fan­tas­tic week. Firstly we beat Da­gen­ham & Red­bridge 1-0 at home and they were top when they came to us.

“Then I was pleased we got a clean sheet and a point away to Wrex­ham, then to come to Ley­ton Ori­ent, one of the re­ally big teams in this league, and win, I have to give credit to my play­ers be­cause they have been fan­tas­tic.” In the end, Hartle­pool were well worth the win, but it seemed like be­ing a com­pletely dif­fer­ent story at Bris­bane Road in the first 45 min­utes. Steve Davis saw his team dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion and cre­ate chances, as they took the lead with 19 min­utes played.

Josh Koroma played in David Mooney on the right and al­though he was de­nied by Scott Loach, Jobi McAnuff was on hand to slot home the re­bound.

It was all look­ing rosy for O’s at this point and Ma­cauley Bonne nearly made it 2-0 in the 25th minute when he let the ball roll across him be­fore ri­fling onto the post.

Ori­ent were look­ing strong, but their re­cent Achilles heel of de­fend­ing set-pieces came back to bite them again just be­fore the break.

Nicky Deverdics swung a free-kick in from the left and af­ter fail­ing to clear the first de­liv­ery, Keith Wat­son headed down for Franks to em­phat­i­cally vol­ley home in first half stop­page time.

If that was a bad way to end the open­ing 45, O’s be­gan ter­ri­bly af­ter the restart and con­ceded a sec­ond two min­utes into the re-start.

Another Deverdics free­kick caused prob­lems and Oates got the faintest of touches to beat Ori­ent goal­keeper Char­lie Grainger and make it 2-1.

O’s boss Davis said: “We have cer­tainly not scored enough from set-pieces, but in terms of the goals we have con­ceded – it is just about peo­ple de­fend­ing prop­erly and not los­ing con­cen­tra­tion.

“We need peo­ple to be brave and put their head on it and for two oc­ca­sions we didn’t do it and it has cost us.”

Af­ter go­ing be­hind, Ori­ent had plenty of pos­ses­sion at Bris­bane Road, but couldn’t break down a solid Hartle­pool back four.

“We can look at it and say we were a lit­tle bit un­lucky, but we can also say we didn’t de­fend them two set-pieces well enough and that’s been the dif­fer­ence,” said Davis.

“Our per­for­mance and what we did with the ball was very good, al­though less so in the sec­ond half be­cause they made it dif­fi­cult once they scored the sec­ond.

“We have no­ticed a pat­tern emerge in this league that once we fall be­hind, teams are quite happy to hang onto it and say we need to break them down.”

Hartle­pool did just that, but they did it while also look­ing a threat on the break and Harrison was de­lighted with his team af­ter­wards. He added: “We do feel we are on a roll and a lot of foot­ball is in your head and play­ers at this level are good play­ers, but it is about con­fi­dence and be­lief.

“Wins and pick­ing up points gives you that and all of the play­ers have been fan­tas­tic.

“We didn’t start well, but the play­ers have been dif­fer­ent class over the last four or five weeks.”

FRANKS A MIL­LION! Jonathan Franks scores the equaliser be­fore Rhys Oates nets the win­ner and cel­e­brates, inset

VER­DICT: It’s now 13 points from a pos­si­ble 15 for Hartle­pool who are head­ing in the right di­rec­tion up the ta­ble. Sadly, the same, how­ever, can­not be said for Ley­ton Ori­ent

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