Hartlepool United vs Barnet

It feels quite a while since I was last at Hartlepool. It is almost three months, but it feels longer than that. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a game thins late on a Sunday. I’ve done 15:00 kick-offs, but I can’t remember doing a game as late as 16:30 on a Sunday. As I mentioned in the Sunderland Ladies report, it was quite a rush to get from that game to this one but I arrived a couple of minutes before kick-off. I’ll more than likely be back at the Vic on Wednesday night when Gillingham visit for an FA Cup replay. Had I had more time, I may have tried to cover the Gillingham game for the FA but that won’t be happening now. I was convinced I had watched the before, but according to my records, I’ve never actually watched Barnet before. It’s probably because Barnet have tended to be a division below Hartlepool in recent times, especially when I had a season ticket at Hartlepool and I was watching them week in week out. 

Match report:

Barnet come from behind to claim win at Hartlepool

Barnet came from behind to claim a win a 3-1 win away to Hartlepool United on Sunday afternoon.

Peter Kioso gave Hartlepool the perfect start with his 10th minute strike, but a Manny Duku brace put Barnet in control going into the second half.

Josh Walker added a third for Barnet in second half injury time, and the win lifts them above Hartlepool in the National League table.

Hartlepool manager Matty Bates made two changes from last weekend’s draw at Gillingham with Tyrone O’Neill coming in to make his full debut and there was also a start for Kioso.

Following a bright start from Pools, they took the lead in only the 10th minute. Kenton Richardson’s cross wasn’t dealt with by Mark Cousins and Paddy McLaughlin was able to stab the ball across to Kioso who poked home via the post.

Charlee Adams headed narrowly wide of his own goal as Hartlepool looked for a second, and Hartlepool were on the front foot at this point.

With quarter of an hour played, Mark Kitching’s persistent work saw the ball eventually find Richardson 25 yards from goal, and his powerful drive darted narrowly wide.

Jack Taylor drilled into the side-netting for Barnet from a tight angle in the 21st minute, before Luke James’ effort at the other end was crucially blocked.

Although they hadn’t created a great deal, Barnet pulled level in the 24th minute. Dan Sweeney’s superb cross picked out the towering Duku who headed home from 10 yards.

Only 54 seconds after Duku had pulled Barnet level, the same man put the Bees ahead. From the restart, Hartlepool worked the ball to Kioso but he was dispossessed by Duku who charged down on goal before dinking Scott Loach.

A quiet period then followed as Pools looked to regroup. In the 41st minute, Liam Noble’s teasing free-kick found Kioso but his header proved a comfortable save for Cousins.

Following the break, Taylor had an effort deflected wide for Barnet, before Adams fired harmlessly over for the visitors.

Substitute Byron Harrison could have doubled Barnet’s lead in the 58th minute. The former Chesterfield man got in behind Myles Anderson but his chipped effort just say evaded the far post.

Although Hartlepool were attacking at every opportunity, they were struggling to break down an organised Barnet outfit.

Richardson’s deep cross gave James a half chance in the 67th minute, but his header was blocked.

Another occasion of getting in behind Hartlepool gave Walker a chance in the 73rd minute. Harrison’s optimistic ball over the top played Walker in, but he couldn’t find the target as Loach came charging out.

Just inside the final quarter of an hour, Hartlepool had a short spell of pressure on the Barnet goal. James glanced a header wide, before the same man had an effort crucially blocked following Kitching’s good work.

Cheye Alexander could have wrapped up the win for Barnet in the 84th minute. He cut in to open fire from 20 yards, and it forced Loach into a strong save. Taylor got onto the rebound, but he could only slice well wide.

Hartlepool were putting plenty of balls into the Barnet penalty area in the final 10 minutes, but the visitors were dealing with all of them.

The ball dropped kindly to Noble for Pools with four minutes remaining, but his effort was blocked.

Deep into injury time, Barnet made sure of the three points. A routine ball over the top looked easy for Hartlepool, but Anderson fell over allowing Walker in on goal and he finished with aplomb.

Full-time: Hartlepool United 1-3 Barnet

Next up for me is probably Hartlepool United vs Gillingham on Wednesday night.

Hartlepool United: Loach, Richardson, Kioso, Anderson, Kitching, Donaldson, Featherstone, Noble (c), McLaughlin (Dinanga, 78′), James, O’Neill (Muir, 64′)

Unused subs: Butler, Hawkes, Newton

Barnet: Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds (c), Robson, Adams, Taylor, Fonguck, Sweeney, Duku (Harrison, 45+1′), Bettamer (Walker, 69′)

Unused subs: Sparkes, Matrevics, Elito

Admission: £20/£18 adults, £10/£9 concessions

Programme: £3

Attendance: 3,545 (47 from Barnet)

Referee: Martin Woods

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