Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 0 Hartlepool United 1

4 February 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 0 Hartlepool United 1

4 February 2023

Rovers were punished for not making their dominance count as they fell to defeat to Hartlepool United at the Eco-Power Stadium.

In a game where they enjoyed the majority of the attacking play, Rovers struggled to break down the stubborn visitors and were undone on 88 minutes with a fine strike from Dan Dodds.

Caolan Lavery and James Brown came into the side for their full debuts as Danny Schofield made two changes to the side that started at Mansfield Town the previous weekend. Tommy Rowe made his return to the matchday squad following injury, with a place on the bench.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the possession in the early minutes without forcing an effort on goal.

And it was Rovers providing the first sniff of danger when Harrison Biggins hooked a shot wide in the follow-up to his free kick hitting the wall.

Moments later the midfielder flicked a looping header narrowly over the bar from a Ben Close free kick.

Rovers took command of possession but found Hartlepool a tough nut to crack.

After the ball was tossed around the box from a corner, Ro-Shaun Williams attempted to hook an acrobatic volley on goal and George Miller nodded wide.

A lovely passage of play carved open the visitors on the half hour mark, with Biggins nodding down a chip into the box from Miller, only for Kyle Hurst to see his first time strike blocked.

The visitors went close to breaking the deadlock twice in quick succession. First, Tayt Trusty fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area after receiving a cutback from Daniel Kemp.

And moments later, Connor Jennings clipped a ball over the top and Oliver Finney dinked a shot over Jonathan Mitchell, only to see the ball drop narrowly wide.

Sandwiched between those chances was a first attempt on goal for Rovers as Miller struck a tame effort straight at Hartlepool keeper Jake Stolarczyk.

In the last act of the half, Biggins forced Stolarczyk to tip over the bar with a well-struck free kick from 30 yards.

Rovers went close in the early stages of the second half. Miller collected the ball 20 yards out, spun and slid through a fine ball for Lavery, who drew a good save from the Hartlepool keeper.

Schofield’s side were well on top as the hour mark approached and produced several good chances.

Miller exchanged passes with Biggins before drilling a low effort with Stolarczyk doing well to hold the shot.

And moments later Miller diverted a ball into the box back to Biggins, who smashed a shot wide.

Biggins continued to be a big threat for Rovers and sent a shot from 30 yards narrowly wide on the hour.

Williams was alert to block a shot from substitute Josh Umerah in a rare moment of threat from the visitors.

A mis-hit effort from Lavery dropped for Rowe whose volley was turned over the bar by Biggins.

Wing back Jamie Sterry fired narrowly wide from 30 yards for the visitors as the game moved into the final ten minutes.

Rovers were hit with a late suckerpunch two minutes from time when Dodds was sent clear down the right and powered in a shot off the far post.

Rovers: Mitchell, Anderson, Williams, Nelson (Molyneux 75), Brown, Biggins, Close, Maxwell (Rowe 68), Hurst (Lakin 68), Miller, Lavery (Agard 82). Subs not used: Jones, Olowu, Seaman.

Hartlepool: Stolarczyk, Sterry (Kiernan 82), Dodds, Hartley, Pruti, Ferguson, Kemp, Featherstone, Trusty (Umerah 61), Finney (Dolan 76), Jennings. Subs not used: Killip, Grey, Sylla, Foran.


Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account