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Hartlepool: Record Breakers For The Wrong Reasons

MK Dons
1 - 0

Stadium MK


Attendance: 7,164 (111 Hartlepool)


Hartlepool United became record breakers for all the wrong reasons as they fell to a club record 21 games without a win.

Report from Stadium MK

This Hartlepool United team is now officially the worst in the club's 104-year history after recording their 21st successive game without a win.

John Hughes kept faith with the same side that lost against Stevenage last weekend as his side arrived at MK Dons.

The hosts dominated the opening 45 with Pools rarely able to venture out of their half with the ball. After early chances for Luke Chadwick and Dean Bowditch, the hosts did find the opener in dubious fashion with 15 minutes on the clock.

A lofted ball from Darren Potter found Ryan Lowe in what looked to be a clear offside position but the official's flag remained firmly down as Lowe picked his spot and planted the ball past Scott Flinders.

Half of the sparse home crowd thought the Dons were two ahead when Dean Lewington's free kick curled over Pools' wall and beat Flinders, only to land in the side netting.

Angelo Balanta also tested Flinders while Jonathan Frank's half-hearted attempt at a lob was the only chance of the half for Pools.

In classic lower league fashion referee Roger East looked to atone for his incorrect decision surrounding the opening goal by chalking off a perfectly legitimate header from the Dons' Shaun Williams as the game approached half time.

A much improved Hartlepool side came out for the second half but still created few chances.

At the other end Hughes' policy of passing the ball out from the back at every opportunity caused as many problems as it did good as sloppy passing gifted chances to MK on several occasions.

The home side's lead should have been doubled when a ball whipped across from the right just eluded the MK Dons attack with several more long range efforts forcing saves from Flinders soon after.

Most of Hartlepool's attacking outlets - Jonathan Franks, Andy Monkhouse, Steve Howard and later James Poole - were largely anonymous for much of the game while loanee Charlie Wyke worked hard but had little to feed on all afternoon.

MK should have sealed the win late in the game when Darren Potter's strike rattled the crossbar but it proved to be a simple win for the Dons in a game where Hartlepool never made them get above third gear.

FT MK Dons 1 Hartlepool 0


Hartlepool: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Baldwin, Horwood (Holden 4), Franks (Poole 70), Sweeney, Humphreys, Monkhouse, Wyke (Rutherford 81), Howard
Subs not used: McHugh, Johnson, Boagey, Murray

MK Dons: Martin, Kouo-Doumbe, Kay, Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Lowe (MacDonald 82), Lewington, Chadwick, Balanta (Ismail 61)
Subs not used: McLoughlin, Smith, Chicksen, Powell, Sekajja

Date:Saturday December 15 2012
Time: 9:21PM

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Shocking, and I think we will break more records, not just our own, but football league records, for lowest points, goals etc....this is not in my eyes the worse football team we have ever had. In the past you could justify poor pools teams, as we had poor chairman with no money and often players not getting paid, now there is no excuses, as there all paid good money and on time. Did not think we would end up and go back to the days were as a club we were the joke of the footballing world..
17/12/2012 18:46:00
Sorry meant to say this is the worse football team of pools
17/12/2012 18:47:00
I think the difference is, as you say, while we've definitely had worse teams than this in terms of ability (the Moncur, Busby, MacPhail, Houchen and Tait eras spring painfully to mind) at least they'd try and make up for it with effort. It's the fact that this lot don't seem to be trying half the time that's the hardest part to stomach. I'll admit there's been a small improvement under Hughes but the damage was done long ago and the players' confidence must be absolutely flat on the floor right now - I think most of them need a change of scenery for their own good as much as the club's. The only thing I hope is that come January we at least have the sense to bring in a striker who isn't a 19-year-old rookie - I think Wyke will be a decent player in a couple of years (ditto Noble) but players like that aren't cut out for relegation dogfights, we need an experienced head up front to make up for Howard's lack of goals. Even with cash as short as it is, surely there must be someone with a few seasons under their belt out there we can afford?
19/12/2012 08:30:00
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