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Bramall Lane


Attendance: 19,941 (195 Hartlepool)


Hartlepool United upset all the odds by recording their first away victory this season at league leaders Sheffield United

Report from Bramall Lane

Hartlepool United, without a win on the road all season and winless anywhere since September, turned in one of the results of the season to beat table topping Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

After a heartless display at Carlisle on Boxing Day, John Hughes' side started the game with a vigour not seen in some time, closing down the ball and making life difficult for the home side.

With just seven minutes on the clock Pools took a shock lead when Evan Horwood's cross found Steve Howard lurking in the area. The much criticised striker planted a perfect header to send the ball past George Long and into the corner of the goal.

Pools could have been out of sight within the first 15 minutes but two great chances were spurned. First Jonathan Franks sent the ball into orbit after a well worked move gave him a sight of goal.

Then Steve Howard blew an excellent opportunity after the impressive Simon Walton picked him out in acres of space inside the area. Howard's snatched effort ended up comfortably over the bar.

Pools were penned back inside their own half for much of the first 45 but remained strong at the back, allowing only occasional chances for the home side.

A warning shot came when a fantastic ball was whipped across the goalmouth, but Dave Kitson arrived at the post too late to convert the chance.

It was an uncharacteristic mistake from Scott Flinders that finally saw the home side draw level. The goalkeeper appeared to misjudge Michael Doyle's effort and only able to get a weak palm to the Blades attacker's effort.

The pressure from the home side remained high but it was some of the most criticised Pools players who put in the best performances of the day. Howard gave the home defence a torrid afternoon while Simon Walton pulled strings from the middle of the park with a captain-like display.

The right hand side pairing of Jordan Richards and Jonathan Franks covered every blade of grass in a hard working display that could have seen either pick up the man of the match award. Evan Horwood similarly impressed on the opposite flank.

The second half continued to see Pools under pressure. The home side had a goal chalked out for offside just after the break, sparking handbags between Antony Sweeney and Sam Collins. Sluggish defending by the latter had appeared to play the United player onside.

But it was Pools who regained the lead after ten minutes of the second period when boyhood Sheffield United fan Ritchie Humphreys capped off a good passing move with a strong near post finish to send the 200 travelling fans into raptures.

Pools shocked the hosts once more when a break down the left hand side saw Horwood pick out substitute James Poole, he floated a ball into the box where Howard held off a defender and nodded the ball past the helpless Long.

It was the first time Pools had scored three on the road since October 2011 and while the hosts continued to apply pressure and even grabbed a 95th minute consolation through Harry Maguire, Pools held on for an unlikely victory that knocked the Blades off the top of the table.

FT: Sheffield United 2 Hartlepool 3


Hartlepool: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Humphreys, Walton (Austin 69), Sweeney, Franks (Monkhouse 80), Wyke (Poole 60), Howard
Subs not used: McHugh, Baldwin, Holden, James

Sheffield United: Long, Westlake, Maguire, Hill, Flynn, Doyle (Cresswell 82), Blackman, McDonald, Kitson (Ironside 82), Cofie (Chapell 67), Williams
Subs not used: McAllister, Philliskirk, Kennedy, Coyne

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Date:Sunday December 30 2012
Time: 3:23PM


Im Speechless keep the faith !!
30/12/2012 20:08:00
Makes a nice change spending a Saturday evening without the usual feelings of doom and gloom hanging over me - well done lads. I still think we've left ourselves with too much to do as far as avoiding relegation goes but I notice we've got Shrewsbury, Colchester and Portsmouth all coming up in the January fixture schedule. Play like that against those three and who knows?...
31/12/2012 14:07:00
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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 45 28 12 5 96 35
2 Accrington 45 24 12 9 84 26
3 Oxford 45 23 14 8 83 40
4 Bristol Rovers 45 25 7 13 82 30
5 Portsmouth 45 21 15 9 78 32
6 Plymouth 45 23 9 13 78 21
7 Wimbledon 45 20 12 13 72 13
8 Cambridge 45 18 13 14 67 11
9 Leyton Orient 45 18 12 15 66 -2
10 Wycombe 45 17 13 15 64 4
11 Exeter 45 17 13 15 64 1
12 Carlisle 45 16 16 13 64 0
13 Mansfield 45 17 12 16 63 8
14 Luton 45 18 9 18 63 -1
15 Barnet 45 16 11 18 59 -4
16 Hartlepool 45 15 6 24 51 -18
17 Notts County 45 14 9 22 51 -24
18 Yeovil 45 11 15 19 48 -15
19 Stevenage 45 11 14 20 47 -15
20 Crawley 45 13 8 24 47 -30
21 Morecambe 45 12 9 24 45 -22
22 Newport 45 10 13 22 43 -20
R Dag & Red 45 8 10 27 34 -34
R York 45 7 12 26 33 -36
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