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Report: Blues 2-1 Hartlepool

8 March 2014

Second-half headers from Dean Morgan and Matt McClure saw Wanderers come from behind to secure a well-deserved win against in-form Hartlepool.

Chairboys created more than their opponents in the first half, but didn't capitalise and went into the break a goal down thanks to Jack Barmby’s superb strike.

However, Wanderers kept up the pressure after the break and were rewarded seven minutes after the restart when Morgan headed home Josh Scowen’s cross.

Blues kept up the pressure and substitute Matt McClure headed home Max Kretzschmar’s corner in the 69th minute to complete the turnaround.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to his side with Paris Cowan-Hall and Dean Morgan replacing Steven Craig and Matt McClure.

Skipper Stuart Lewis missed out again with a hamstring injury, while Reece Styche picked up a groin strain whilst on international duty with Gibraltar.

The first chance of the game dell to Nick Arnold in the third minute, but his difficult left-footed strike curled harmlessly over the bar.

Hartlepool thought they should have had a penalty less than 60 seconds later when Luke James went down in the area with Anthony Stewart in close attention, however, the referee turned down their appeals.

Wanderers suffered a setback in the seventh minute when Cowan-Hall picked up a knock from a fairly innocuous challenge and limped off to be replaced by McClure.

Matt Bloomfield was the next to try his luck after breaking from midfield and jinking past two opponents, however, his speculative 25-yard drive flew off target.

Chairboys were looking lively in attack and after McClure’s cross had been blocked the ball fell for Wood, who played Kretzschmar in on the left, only for his low shot to be comfortably gathered by Scott Flinders.

Blues continued to create the early chances and Morgan dragged wide from an angle after skipping past his man in the 23rd minute.

Wanderers were getting closer and Kretzschmar was denied by a fine last-ditch challenge following a clever turn before Arnold’s follow-up was well charged down.

McClure almost gave Ainsworth’s men the lead on the half-hour when Kretzschmar layed-off a cross from the right to the forward, but his well-struck shot was straight at a grateful Flinders.

Bloomfield dragged wide seven minutes from the break after good work from McClure, who turned inside his man.

Blues were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal as the visitors took the lead in the 41st minute, Manchester United loanee Jack Barmby's superb half-volley giving Matt Ingram no chance.

Morgan flashed a strike over the bar three minutes after the restart as Pools failed to deal with Kretzschmar’s inswinging corner.

Johnson then did well to break up an attack and found Kretzschmar, but the 20-year-old’s effort was always rising and cleared the crossbar.

Wanderers were continuing to be the greater attacking threat and they got their reward in the 52nd minute when Morgan got in front of his marker to head home Scowen’s cross from the right.

Kretzschmar had a golden chance to give Ainsworth’s men the lead on the hour after being found by McClure, but he didn't get over the ball and fired off target.

Scowen was booked for a foul on midway 60 seconds later and that caution took him to 10 for the season and a two-match ban.

The visitors were starting to see more of the ball with the dangerous Luke James becoming an increasing threat, and a good spell ended with Simon Walton volleying wide from just outside the area.

However, despite Colin Cooper’s men’s best spell, it was the Chairboys who were to strike next in the 69th minute. Flinders failed to get anyway near Kretzschmar’s corner and McClure powered home a header.

Cooper responded with a double substitution in the 73rd minute as Jonathan Franks and Antony Sweeney replaced Harewood and Barmby.

Flinders kept his side in the contest 12 minutes from time by parrying away McClure’s fierce strike following Wood’s clever ball over the top.

Scowen bravely blocked Andy Monkhouse’s close-range effort five minutes from time as Pools pushed forward, and Cooper’s final throw of the dice saw striker Nialle Rodney replace midfielder Walton.

Bradley Walker’s 25-yard strike stung the palms of Ingram, before Ainsworth brought on fresh legs in the form of Craig for Morgan and Blues comfortably saw out time.

Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Wood, Johnson, Stewart, Scowen, Arnold, Bloomfield (c), Kretzschmar, Cowan-Hall (McClure 7), Morgan (Craig 90).

Subs: Horlock, Pierre, Kewley-Graham, Jeffrey, Kuffour.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Richards, Holden, Collins (c), Burgess, Monkhouse, Walton (Rodney 87), Walker, Barmby (Sweeney 73), James, Harewood (Franks 73).

Subs: Rafferty, Hawkins, Compton, Poole.


Attendance: 3,073 (188 Hartlepool)

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