Tranmere Rovers were beaten in the North East on Tuesday night, as Hartlepool condemned Micky Mellon’s men to consecutive defeats.
Rovers made a lively start to proceedings at Victoria Park, dictating the tempo of the early exchanges. It was the visitors who had the first opportunity, however, a long-range effort from Jamie Sterry failing to trouble Ross Doohan in the Tranmere goal.
After absorbing some early pressure from Rovers, Hartlepool started to grow into the game as the first half progressed, with some fiercely contested battles in the midfield very much dictating the phase of play.
Just after the 20 minute mark Hartlepool had a huge opportunity to take the lead, with Ross Doohan making an excellent save to deny Luke Molyneux who’d latched onto a flick on from Omar Bogle.
After enduring some pressure of their own from Hartlepool a piece of well-worked build-up play gave Charlie Jolley Rovers’ first real opening of the game, the young striker losing his footing at the vital moment as his effort curled wide of the goal.
Just before the break the hosts took the lead in the North East, Peter Clarke’s attempt to clear a dangerous free-kick saw the skipper head the ball into his own net. An unfortunate end to an even opening half, with Hartlepool taking the lead with last kick of the first 45 minutes of play.
Keen to restore parity, Rovers made a bright start to the second half and a Kieron Morris delivery caused a melee within the Hartlepool box with the hosts managing to scramble the ball away.
Rovers continued to ask questions of Hartlepool and had their best chance of the game shortly after, Kane Hemmings’ close-range effort calling Ben Killip into action, with the ‘keeper’ making a stunning save.
At the other end the Rovers defence were tested as Hartlepool looked to hit Micky Mellon’s side on the counter-attack, an excellent block from Callum MacDonald denying the threatening Luke Molyneux an effort at goal from inside the box.
Attacking towards the visiting fans the push for an equaliser continued for Rovers, substitute Callum McManaman tried his luck but once again Ben Killip thwarted the opportunity.
The final chance for Rovers came in stoppage time, as Lewis Warrington rose highest to head a free kick goal bound, his attempt went narrowly wide of the goal.
That would bring to an end a frustrating evening for Rovers who just couldn’t break down the Hartlepool defence, as the home side held on for the three points.
Next up for Micky Mellon’s side is a clash with Port Vale at Prenton Park on Saturday, as the SWA look to return to winning ways.
Doohan, Dacres-Cogley, Clarke, Davies, MacDonald, Hawkes, Warrington, Foley, Morris, Jolley (McManaman 63’), Hemmings