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Match Report


Posted Tue 25 Oct 11 at 21:38 PM

Report: Hartlepool 0 Tranmere 2

A Lucas Akins brace gave Tranmere a 2-0 victory over Hartlepool and their first success at Victoria Park since 2004-05.

The victory, Rovers' third in a row in the league, fourth in all competitions and first on the road since August, was secured with two second half goals, both from close range.

Les Parry's side had coped with spells of Hartlepool pressure in the first half and struck in the first minute of the second. They gained in confidence from the goal and added the second midway through the half to seal the win.

There was one change to the side that started against Walsall as Enoch Showunmi missed out through injury, with Mustafa Tiryaki coming into the side in his place and Andy Robinson taking a place on the bench following almost two months out injured.

The starting formation against Hartlepool

Owain Fon Williams was called on in the second minute, making a fine save to deny Nathan Luscombe after good work down the Hartlepool right from James Poole.

Rovers responded with an attack involving Jose Baxter and Lucas Akins with the ball reaching Adam McGurk whose low effort had to be saved at his near post by Hartlepool keeper Scott Flinders.

Andy Monkhouse headed wide from the edge of the area for the hosts on seven minutes and the striker saw a shot from a similar distance deflect behind for a corner a few minutes later in an open start to the contest.

After the initial burst to the game, the two defences gradually gained control of their opponents, with chances proving harder to come by as the half drew on. Weir shot wide from an Akins pass, while two dangerous crosses from Hartlepool were cut out by Ian Goodison and John Welsh.

A McGurk shot deflected straight at Flinders on 26 minutes while Luscombe fired well past the target a few minutes later at the other end.

Though Hartlepool were dominating possession, Rovers were still in the game. After Akins beat his marker on 40 minutes, he played the ball back to McGurk whose right foot shot deflected away from the target.

Heavy rain greeted the players for the start of the second half but within seconds Rovers had found the lead. Good play from Jose Baxter saw the Everton loanee find Adam McGurk and though his powerful shot was saved by Flinders, Akins was fastest to react to turn in the rebound from close range.

Baxter was close to meeting a well aimed header from Goodison on 50 minutes as Rovers looked for a second goal but the ball ran through to Flinders in the Hartlepool goal.

A foul on Baxter by Sam Collins gave Tranmere a free kick in a dangerous position on 56 minutes, with McGurk testing Flinders with a curling left foot effort.

The hosts made a double change on the hour mark with Adam Boyd and James Brown joining the action in place of Steven Wright and Paul Murray.

Baxter headed a McGurk cross wide of the target on 64 minutes but soon after Rovers had their second. A long throw from McGurk went straight into the six yard box from where Akins got a vital touch to turn it into the net at the near post.

Rovers' two goal lead was maintained by a superb goal line clearance from Welsh on 69 minutes and soon after Tiryaki was replaced by Zoumana Bakayogo, the change seeing McGurk move into the central striker's role.

Gary Liddle sent a speculative overhead kick effort high over Fon Williams' bar on 75 minutes while Robinson made his return from injury three minutes later, replacing Baxter as the support striker.

McGurk curled a free kick over the bar on 83 minutes after Robinson had been fouled and the former Aston Villa trainee shot wide when one on one with Flinders in injury time.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Wright (Brown 60), Luscombe, Liddle, Murray (Boyd 60), Horwood, Monkhouse, Poole. Unused Substitutes: Rafferty, Humphreys, Nish.

Tranmere: Fon Williams, Raven, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan, Akins, Weir (Labadie 90+4), Welsh, McGurk, Baxter (Robinson 78), Tiryaki (Bakayogo 70). Unused substitutes: Coughlin, Holmes.

Referee: Mark Brown

Yellow cards: Buchanan (20), Collins (56), Akins (66), Luscombe (85)

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