This game was in my schedule for quite some time before today. It’s quite strange to have so few games to go to at this stage of the season. Even the Wearside League and its development division are basically finished. My plans for midweek will depend on results today. If Spennymoor Town end up playing on Wednesday in the play-offs, I’ll be there. If not, I’ll probably do a new ‘ground’ at Ferryhill on Wednesday. And then I’ll be at the North Riding Senior Cup final at the Riverside on Thursday. Although there are a few games I could do next weekend, I won’t be at any. I’m over at the south point of Windermere from Friday to Monday for a wedding. There won’t be a great deal of games left for me after that!
Pools come from behind to beat ten-man Salford
Hartlepool United came from behind to claim an impressive 3-2 win over 10-man Salford City on Saturday afternoon.
Salford came into the game with a narrow chance of winning the league, but even if they had won, Leyton Orient’s point against Braintree Town was enough to give them the title.
Adam Rooney put Salford ahead in only the third minute, but they were reduced to 10 men when Matt Green was sent off for a second yellow just before the break.
Nicky Featherstone pulled Pools level in the 50th minute, and goals from Nicke Kabamba and Luke James put Pools firmly in control.
Emmanuel Dieseruvwe pulled a goal back late on for Salford, but it wasn’t enough as Hartlepool claimed a win on the final day of the season.
The visitors couldn’t have hoped for a better start as they took the lead with just 120 seconds played. Danny Lloyd’s cross picked out Rooney with room in the penalty area, and his volley from eight yards put Salford ahead.
Scott Loach was then forced into a save to prevent Lois Maynard, and Pools hadn’t really got going.
Following a good start from Salford, the game settled down and Hartlepool eventually created a couple of chances. Luke Molyneux fired narrowly wide, before Luke James headed narrowly over after good work from Mark Kitching.
Hartlepool were the better team as the first half wore on, and they were helped when Salford were reduced to 10 men just before the break. Three players had been booked for Salford in the first half, including Green, and then he slid in with a needless challenge on Loach. Got got to the ball first and was caught by Green. Maybe Loach made the most of it, but the referee opted for a second yellow for Green and Salford were down to 10.
Following the break, Loach was forced into a save to prevent Daniel Whitehead, but Pools were level inside five minutes of the restart. A high ball was played into the area and Kabamba flicked it on. It fell to the onrushing Featherstone, and his simple finish pulled Pools level.
Five minutes later, the hosts were almost ahead. Gavan Holohan took aim with a powerful effort from 20 yards, but it rattled back off the crossbar.
And, Hartlepool deservedly took the lead in the 69th minute. Liam Noble and Molyneux linked up to work the ball into the penalty area. Salford failed to clear, and it fell to Kabamba who poked home.
In a fine second half performance from Hartlepool, they scored a third with just over 15 minutes to play. Molyneux’s cross picked out James in the penalty area, and his drilled shot took a slight deflection but found the net to put Pools in total command.
In control, Hartlepool were simply passing the ball about for much of the remaining time.
However, Salford were to pull one back in the 87th minute. A low cross caused some trouble at the near post, and Dieseruvwe prodded home.
It was just a mere consolation though as Hartlepool claimed a deserved win on the final day of the season.
Salford will now go in search of promotion through the play-offs.
Full-time: Hartlepool United 3-2 Salford City
Next up for me is a game on Wednesday night.
Hartlepool United: Loach, Kioso (Richardson, 87′), Edgar (Holohan, 42′), Anderson, Kitching, Featherstone, Donaldson (c), Noble (Hawkes, 87′), Molyneux, James, Kabamba
Unused subs: Muir, Bale
Salford City: Neal, Wiseman, Touray, Mafuta (Redmond, 66′), Hogan (c), Piergianni (Linganzi, 69′), Green, Maynard, Rooney (Dieseruvwe, 62′), Lloyd, Whitehead
Unused subs: Crocombe, Walker
Admission: £18/£20 adults, £9/£10 concessions
Attendance: 3,582 (300 from Salford)
Referee: Andrew Miller