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Match Reports

Match Report: Hartlepool United 0-1 Southend United

6 April 2015

Will Atkinson's goal the difference at Victoria Park, as Blues make it two wins in four days.

A solitary strike from Will Atkinson meant it was to be a very happy Easter for Southend United, who made it two wins in four days, with a 1-0 win at Hartlepool United.

Atkinson struck ten minutes into the second half, following a spot of pinball in the Pools box, to register his second goal in as many games.

And Blues had to ride the storm late on following a flurry of Hartlepool chances in the dying stages of the game.

Blues boss Phil Brown made two changes to his side ahead of the game against Hartlepool at Victoria Park.

Cian Bolger kept his place in the team alongside Adam Barrett, after replacing Adam Thompson in the win over Mansfield Town.

Joe Pigott dropped to the bench with Jake Cassidy taking his place in the starting XI.

Brown's options were boosted by the return of David Worrall on the bench, who had missed the last couple of games due to injury.

After just three minutes, in form Barry Corr had a great chance to put Brown's men 1-0 up. Sent through by Cassidy, Corr only had Scott Flinders to beat, but poked his attempt – with his left foot – just wide of the target.

On 18 minutes, Atkinson – looking for his second goal in as many games – saw his stinging drive turned round his left-hand post by Pools skipper Flinders.

Moments later and Stephen McLaughlin was next to try his luck. The ball sat up nicely for the Irishman on the edge of the box, but the Nottingham Forest loanee saw his dipping volley fly just past the post.

Next to try his luck was Corr, but the striker saw Flinders equal to the attempt that could have squirmed in at the near post.

At the other end, Nicky Featherstone drove a shot well over the bar just before the half an hour mark – which was the best chance the hosts had mustered up to that point.

On the stroke of half time, Blues' 'keeper Dan Bentley did excellently to tip Marlon Harewood's powerful shot – the best chance of the half for Pools - around the post for a corner kick.

After the break, Michael Timlin prodded a difficult volley wide, and a minute later, Brad Walker saw his attempt trickle just past Bentley's right-hand post.

The deadlock was then broken ten minutes into the second half. McLaughlin's shot was deflected into the path of Atkinson, and the midfielder bagged his second goal in two games for Blues.

With 25 minutes remaining, a goal-bound strike from Duckworth was deflected onto the bar by Timlin and down on the line before being cleared.

The next attack moments later forced Bentley into a strong stop at his near post from a Scott Harrison effort from close range.

Five minutes later and Corr flicked an effort over Flinders, but the ball fell agonisingly just wide of the post.

Pools were knocking at the door, with Michael Duckworth, Jonathan Franks and Harewood all going close in the final ten minutes.

And in the last minute of four added on, and with Flinders up for a late, late corner, Featherstone's bicycle kick went so, so close to nicking a point for Pools, but Blues were resolute to earn a hard fought victory in the north-east.

Blues: Bentley; White (c), Bolger, Barrett, Coker; Atkinson, Leonard, Timlin, McLaughlin (Pigott, 68); Corr (Weston, 72), Cassidy (Worrall, 68)

Substitutes: T. Smith, Payne, Deegan, Binnom-Williams

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