A 2-1 defeat away at promotion pushing Colchester United, leaves Hartlepool and their manager Dave Jones slipping further and further towards the relegation zone of League two, after what continues to be a disastrous campaign.
The U’s went closest early on to open the scoring when, after a free kick from the left hand side was swung into the Hartlepool box, which caused chaos and confusion from their defense. The scramble in the box then resulted in Brennan Dickenson, forcing a quick reaction save from Pools keeper Joe Fryer.
Colchester then thought they’d taken the lead, when Richard Brindley found space down the right hand side and sent in a low cross, which found striker Chris Porter who slotted home. However, the linesman gave offside against Porter resulting in protests from the home players and fans.
Colchester continued to dominate. A corner whipped in by Owen Garvan was headed on by Matthew Briggs to the back post which should have resulted in an easy goal for the U’s, if not for poor miscommunication between Porter and George Elokobi.
In the second half, the away side grew into the fixture with the Pools having a great chance to take the lead. Nathan Thomas curled the ball into the box, but after getting the better of Colchester defender Elokobi, striker Padraig Amond headed over.
Eventually, on the hour mark the deadlock was broken. After some fine attacking play the ball fell for Brindley down the right hand side, who curled in a great cross, for in-form striker Kurtis Guthrie who headed past Fryer’s goal for the lead. That being Guthrie’s 12th goal of the season, a vital player in Colchester’s promotion push.
On the 78th minute, Chris Porter emphatically converted from the penalty spot to double the home sides advantage, after Kurtis Guthrie was brought down in the area by Pools full back Liam Donnelly.
Although, the end wasn’t smooth sailing for Colchester as Hartlepool did half the deficit just four minutes later, through a Nathan Thomas goal after he found space and slotted home rather easily because of poor goalkeeping and defending. However, the hosts held on for an important win.
The result sends Colchester into 7th place and in the final play off position, which any fan would have happily taken after their disastrous start to the campaign. Although, they will be hoping that the injury to star man Kurtis Guthrie who went off after a nasty challenge isn’t too serious, as he could very well be the difference in what league the U’s end up in the following season. Colchester with or without Guthrie, are away on Tuesday to Grimsby Town.
In direct contrast, Hartlepool continue to struggle and nothing has seemed to of changed under new manager Dave Jones. The away side switched off defensively at times, which will worry Jones especially as they haven’t won in 6 since he took over the club and now sit just three points off the drop zone. Up the next for the monkey hangers is an important home double, against fellow strugglers Crewe Alexandra and promotion pushers Exeter City.