April 13, 2013
Pools keep slim survival hopes alive
Hartlepool live to fight another day in League One after a solitary Neil Austin strike secured an unlikely away win at play-off chasing Tranmere.
It still looks like mission impossible for Pools but Austin's goal after 10 minutes ensured their fate is still not sealed.
Hartlepool's Jonathan Franks and Tranmere's Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro both saw chances narrowly miss the target in a lively opening spell.
But Rovers temperatures were raised when referee Lee Collins pointed to the penalty spot after ruling that Ben Gibson had held Sam Collins in the box.
The hosts thought justice had been served when Owain Fon Williams saved Simon Walton's spot-kick but Austin pounced to slide home the rebound.
Andy Robinson almost produced a 37th-minute equaliser when he tricked his way beyond two Hartlepool defenders before seeing his shot strike the outside of a post.
And he suffered a similar agonising fate when Rovers were awarded a penalty of their own 12 minutes after the break, with Scott Flinders superbly tipping his effort onto the crossbar after Peter Hartley was judged to have felled Akpa Akpro.
Tranmere substitute Cole Stockton flashed a 73rd-minute shot over the bar shortly after entering the action.
But that was to be as close as Rovers came to rescuing anything from the game, with Akpa Akpro's wildly-struck free-kick just about summing up Tranmere's day late on amid a chorus of boos at the final whistle.
|Tranmere Rovers||Hartlepool United|
|1 Owain fon Williams||1 Scott Flinders|
|14 Zoumana Bakayogo||5 Sam Collins|
|2 Danny Holmes||2 Neil Austin|
|4 Ash Taylor||29 Peter Hartley|
|21 Ben Gibson||22 Darren Holden|
|10 Andy Robinson||18 Jack Baldwin|
|6 Liam Palmer||11 Andy Monkhouse|
|17 Max Power||3 Ritchie Humphreys|
|25 Mamady Sidibe||8 Simon Walton|
|26 Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro||7 Jonathan Franks|
|22 Abdulai Bell-Baggie||33 Luke James|
|33 Jason Mooney||Adam McHugh 31|
|5 Ian Goodison||Evan Horwood 6|
|19 Michael Kay||Antony Sweeney 15|
|12 Danny Harrison||Nathan Luscombe 14|
|7 Joe Thompson||Lewis Hawkins 28|
|20 Michael O'Halloran||Greg Rutherford 17|
|16 Cole Stockton||Zak Boagey 37|
|Cole Stockton for Mamady Sidibe (61)||Antony Sweeney for Jonathan Franks (74)|
|Joe Thompson for Abdulai Bell-Baggie (61)||Greg Rutherford for Luke James (87)|
|Michael O'Halloran for Andy Robinson (83)|
|Ben Gibson (9)||Andy Monkhouse (40)|
|Max Power (21)||Greg Rutherford (90)|
|· Squads: Tranmere Rovers | Hartlepool United|