Anthony Wordsworth heaps more misery on Hartlepool
Hartlepool United 0 Colchester United 1
ANTHONY Wordsworth’s seventh goal of the season was sufficient to earn Colchester United back-to-back wins, going into the Christmas period.
Hosts Hartlepool, low on confidence, had lost their previous seven home games on the spin, and the U’s stretched that dismal run to eight.
Midfielder Wordsworth came up trumps with a 36th minute goal to decide this League One encounter, coming a week after John Ward’s men had beaten Bury 4-1.
Brian Wilson was the creator by delivering a pinpoint cross from the right flank.
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Wordsworth was unmarked at the far post, and although his initial shot was superbly blocked at point blank range by Scott Flinders, the U’s midfielder was able to bundle home the loose ball while lying on the deck.
Managerless Hartlepool huffed and puffed, but they rarely threatened to trouble keeper Ben Williams.
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The U’s dominated the first period, and were good value for their half-time lead.
Ian Henderson spurned two good chances to break the deadlock inside the first half-hour. First he scuffed a shot wide from very close in, after Brian Wilson’s cross had dropped at his feet.
Henderson then burst into the box to anticipate Karl Duguid’s lay-off, only for his goalbound shot to be blocked by Flinders.
Williams had less to do at the other end, although the U’s keeper did do well to parry a shot by an unmarked James Poole in the 31st minute.
Five minutes later and Wordsworth was in the right place to stab home his seventh goal of the season.
Pools were close to stealing an equaliser in first-half stoppage time, but Wilson was back to hoof away James Brown’s shot off the goal-line.
The home side improved after the break, encouraged by the introduction of teenager Luke James as a half-time substitute. He was a bundle of energy down the right wing.
Yet Henderson had a chance to kill off the game in the 72nd minute. The U’s winger smashed a shot over the bar from just 10 yards out.
HARTLEPOOL: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Liddle, Horwood, Baldwin, Sweeney, Murray (sub Solano, 72), Brown (sub James, 46), Monkhouse, Poole (sub Boyd, 73). Unused subs: Humphreys, Haslam.
COLCHESTER: Williams, Wilson, Okuonghae, Heath, Rose, James (sub Izzet, 62), Bond, Wordsworth, Duguid, Odejayi, Henderson. Unused subs: O’Toole, Gillespie, Eastman, Coker.
Referee: Mr Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)