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Stevenage v Hartlepool ratings
1-0: Whelpdale (60, crisp shot from 20 yards caught Flinders off balance)
Referee: Mark Haywood (Leeds): Authorative without being over powering. Pools felt they should have had a late penalty, and, on review, it looks like they were right to feel aggreived 6
Beasant 6; Ashton 6, Worley 6, Wells 6, Dembele 5; Pett 6 (Deacon 88), LEE 8, Bond 7, Whelpdale 7 (Okimo 82); Marriott 6, Charles 5 (Calutt 77). Subs (not used): Day (gk), Johnson.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED (4-4-2):
8 Flinders: Made four top-drawer saves to keep Pools level before he was finally beaten from distance;
6 Duckworth: Made two of his trademark surges into the penalty area going forward, switched off a bit in the build up to the only goal
7 Collins: In the team to combat the physical aspect and did the job asked and expected of him. Headed a good chance for a leveller wide later on
6 Bates: Pools’ new captain showed he will be a real asset at the back this season, read the game well and he really knows how to defend
6 Austin: Has spent pre-season at centre-half, but moved to the left side and he played the sort of game you expect from him;
6 Parnaby: Steady, and workmanlike on the right side. Offered a solid presence on the right and linked up with his other midfielders well
6 Miller: Kept possession in the middle when he had the ball and offered a steadying influence alongside Walker
6 Walker: Started very positively and didn’t shirk the physical side. Made one superb saving tackle in the six-yard area, but faded as the game went on
5 Compton: Hit the bar after two minutes. Lost his head in a spat with full-back Ashton in the first half;
5 Harewood: Offered a positive link with his team-mates at times, but wasn’t a threat inside the penalty area
7 James: Bright and lively and a marked man, given close attention by the defenders. Always on the move and trying to squirm into space.
Franks (for Walker 76)
Brobbel (for Parnaby 76)
(not used): Dixon (gk), Holden, Woods, Hawkins, Richards.
MAN OF THE MATCH
SCOTT Flinders – a busy opening day. Alert and commanding and didn’t deserve to be beaten given the manner of his performance.
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