I had been contemplating what game(s) to do today since my last game on Wednesday night. The options I had given myself were Chester-le-Street Town vs Northallerton at Billingham Town in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup final, Hartlepool United vs FC Halifax Town in the National League and Billingham Sythonia vs Redcar Athletic in Northern League Division Two. I was always going to do one, probably two, and possibly even all three. It was only this morning that I decided to do the cup final and then Hartlepool but not Billingham Synthonia. The main reason I didn’t do Synners was because of the wait between the two games. I would have had quite a long wait in either Hartlepool or Norton between the two games seeming as though it didn’t kick off until 19:30. After the cup final at Billingham Town, it was quite a rush to get to this game, but I arrived just on kick-off. Having seen that Billingham Synthonia finished 5-5 tonight, I kind of regret not going!
Pools come from behind to beat Halifax
Hartlepool United came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over FC Halifax Town on Friday afternoon.
Former Hartlepool forward Devante Rodney put Halifax ahead in the 14th minute, but Luke James pulled Hartlepool level in the 32nd minute.
Hartlepool’s winner came through Luke Molyneux seven minutes into the second half.
The win lifts Hartlepool to 14th in the National League.
Hartlepool started well, and they created a chance with just two minutes played. Gavan Holohan found room to cross, and his ball found Nicke Kabamba whose header was narrowly too high.
With Halifax’s first chance, Manny Duku did well to win possession in a dangerous area. He cut in to take aim, but his shot was narrowly wide of the bottom corner.
James then went close for Hartlepool, before Cameron King fired wide at the other end.
In the 14th minute, Halifax broke the deadlock. Peter Kioso was caught trying to play out of the back, and Halifax worked the ball into King. He picked out Rodney who slotted home to score against his former club.
Pools responded with an effort from Holohan, but then Halifax had chances Rodney, King and Duku.
It was certainly an entertaining first half with both sides having plenty of chances.
The lively Holohan forced a good save from Halifax’s Sam Johnson in the 21st minute, before a quiet period followed.
Molyneux was next to take aim on the half hour mark with a long-range strike for the hosts, but Johnson was equal to it.
Sunderland loanee Molyneux was the creator as his teasing cross picked out James whose flicked effort nestled into the far corner.
Matty Kosylo forced a routine save from Scott Loach as the visitors looked to regain their lead.
Ryan Donaldson’s effort for Hartlepool was saved in the 39th minute, before Kioso could only find the side-netting soon after.
Just 25 seconds into the second half, Hartlepool went close to taking the lead. A cross picked out Donaldson in the penalty area, but his eight-yard header was narrowly too high.
However, Hartlepool were to deservedly take the lead in the 53rd minute. It was fairly simple as Holohan’s pass picked out Molyneux in the penalty area and he was allowed far too much time. With plenty of time, Molyneux took control of the ball before calmly slotting past Johnson to put Pools ahead.
Having fallen behind, Halifax then had a decent spell of possession, but they weren’t threatening Hartlepool in any way.
Kosylo curled a dangerous free-kick into the Hartlepool wall in the 69th minute, before Matty Brown headed harmlessly wide for the Shaymen.
Two minutes after Kosylo had hit the wall with his dangerous free-kick, Rodney took responsibility of another dangerous free-kick for the visitors. Rodney managed to get it over the wall, but it was also over the crossbar.
Hartlepool were managing the game well late on, and a few substitutions were helping their cause.
Josh Staunton and King had half chances for the West Yorkshire outfit late on, but they couldn’t find an equaliser and Hartlepool took all three points.
Full-time: Hartlepool United 2-1 FC Halifax Town
Next up for me is Easington Colliery vs Ryton & Crawcrook Albion tomorrow.
Hartlepool United: Loach, Kioso, Edgar, Kerr, Anderson, Holohan (Noble, 74′), Featherstone, Donaldson (c), Molyneux (Bale, 90′), James, Kabamba
Unused subs: Catterick, Muir, Amos
FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Clarke, Brown (c), Staunton, Kosylo, King, Berrett, Duku (Gondoh, 65′), Rodney, Skarz, Hanson (Freedman, 72′)
Unused subs: Preston, Rowley, Quigley
Admission: £20/£18 adults, £10/£9 concessions
Attendance: 3,018 (178 from Halifax)
Programme: Yes, but I didn’t manage to get one
Chips and bottle of Coke: £3.50
Referee: Simeon Lucas