Pools out of Trophy with a whimper
HARTLEPOOL 1 AFC TELFORD 2
RICHARD MONEY admitted he was shocked at the nature of Pools meek FA Trophy exit.
The National League North part-timers fully deserved their win at Victoria Park, as Pools were embarrassed once again.
They fell two goals down before Myles Anderson headed a last-minute consolation which mattered little.
A week after the manager criticised the support for their negative outlook, the faithful stuck with their team when they could have turned from the off.
The club is in an all too familiar mess once again. Another season, another new low. They keep coming at Pools.
They trailed early on. Captain Carl Magnay lost out on halfway, chased back but lost his man wing-back Ryan Barnett , who knocked the ball across the box for Amari Morgan Smith to tap in.
It should have been two soon after. Magnay once again lost possession and the visitors broke away. Scorer Morgan Smith homed in on goal, but as he hesitated, a saving block from Nicky Featherstone kept the danger away from goal.
Pools’ first shot came when a sharp, low free-kick from Ryan Donaldson was flying into the corner before keeper Andrew Wycherley saved low.
When the visitors attacked, they were up against a panicked Pools’ defence and Udoh could have netted, denied by the legs of keeper Scott Loach.
Pools made a double change at the break but the visitors almost doubled their lead as Morgan Smith’s close-range effort was blocked. There was little to no spark from Pools.
A third change arrived with Paddy Mclaughlin looking bemused as he was replaced by Peter Kioso. Pools had already changed system to a three-man defensive unit from Money’s preferred four.
Pools defenders failed to clear with any conviction and a shot from Ryan Barnett came back off the post. Udoh tapped into an empty net on 67 minutes. It was all but game over.
There was no response from Pools apart from Anderson’s late header.
Money said: “You know me well enough already. I say it as I see it and won’t hide behind anything.
“We asked the support for more support and to be patient and they were excellent. The players have let them down on the pitch.
“I have to do everything in my power to make sure they never see anything like that again. This is not what we wanted but it gives us the chance to reset and we rebuild this club.
“I’m mindful of a lack of confidence at home so I am careful about what I say but what I have seen and what they delivered is not good enough. I can only apologise – it’s not what I want to see and not what I expect.’’
Visiting boss Gavin Cowan admitted: “We went away from home to a team a division above us. I’m a critical thinker and just because they are in the division above it doesn’t automatically make them a better team. We did our research and we felt we could get at them today.’’ HARTLEPOOL UNITED (4-3-3): Loach 6; Richardson 5 (Hawkes 46, 5), Magnay 6, Rodgers 6, Amos 6; Donaldson 6, Featherstone 4, Mclaughlin 4 (Kioso 58, 5); James 7, Muir 5, Kitching 6 (Anderson 58). NOT USED: Catterick, Scott. BOOKED: Donaldson (90, foul), AFC TELFORD UNITED (3-5-2): Wycherley 7; Streete 7, Sutton 8, White 7; Barnett 6 (Mcquilkin 63, 6), Deeney 7, Royle 6, Daniels 7 (Morley 81), Knights 6; Morgan-smith 8, Udoh 8. NOT USED: Cowans, Brown, Barnes-homer. BOOKED: Udoh (68, over celebrating), Daniels (79, foul); Deeney (90, foul) Attendance: 1920 Referee: Simeon Lucas (Blackburn)
■ Spennymoor players celebrate a goal, Andrew Johnson shows his delight and Glen Taylor celebrates scoring