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Match Reports

REPORT | Hartlepool 2 Rovers 1

4 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT | Hartlepool 2 Rovers 1

4 October 2022

Rovers were beaten on the road by Hartlepool United.

Bobby Faulkner put in an impressive shift and brought Rovers level in the second-half, but a goal from Wes McDonald gave the home side a victory.

Rovers' teenage centre half put in a commanding performance at the back, making instrumental slide tackles to deny Hartlepool some golden opportunities throughout the 90-minutes. 

He was also the man to step-up and put Rovers back in the game on the 67th minute with a volley from the edge of the area. 

Gary McSheffrey made four changes to the side that beat Rochdale at the weekend. Kieran Agard and Ben Close were rested dropped to the bench while George Miller missed out with a minor muscle issue and Joseph Olowu is recovering from an injury sustained in the Dale victory. 

The game marked the homecoming of Luke Molyneux and Jonathan Mitchell who left the Pools for Rovers. The latter joined in January 2022 while Molyneux arrived in the summer. 

Within the first 10 minutes the hosts had a couple of opportunities to score with Bobby Faulkner preventing Callum Cooke and Jack Hamilton later shot wide of the target. 

Rovers did have their fair share of opportunities too with most of their luck coming through Molyneux, but no chances early doors came as close as Hartlepool’s. 

Rovers’ number seven was determined to mark his return to Victoria Park with a goal. From 25-yards out he tried his luck on goal, but was denied by the post. 

At 0-0, Mitchell pulled off a wonder save to deny Rollin Menayese, but minutes after that wonder save, Mitchell was beaten as Josh Umerah, who got his third goal in two games, slotted past the keeper. 

That goal sent Hartlepool in one-nil up at the break, resulting in Gary McSheffrey making a double change at the break with Charlie Seaman and James Maxwell replaced by Kieran Agard and Adam Long. 

Within the opening five minutes of the second period, Rovers had two chances with Agard having a shot deflected wide by a Pools defender and Clayton forcing a save from Killip with a shot from range. 

Bobby Faulkner continued to have a strong game in defence, putting in a pivotal sliding challenge on Jack Hamilton in the box who otherwise would have been through on goal. 

Minutes later down the other end, Griffiths put Agard through one-on-one with Killip, but the Hartlepool keeper made himself big and denied Agard’s chance. 

Rovers pulled level through a sensational goal from Faulkner. The corner ball fell on the edge of the box for the centre back, who hit it on the volley. 

With four minutes of normal time left, Hartlepool re-took the lead through Wes McDonald, who cut in from the left and beat Mitchell. 

The result gave Rovers their first defeat in three competitive games.

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