Background
Match Report

Hartlepool 0 Town 1

Jon Stead claimed the winner at Victoria Park as Town kept pace with the National League leaders with a third win in seven days.

The striker pounced on Jack Emmett's low cross in the 57th minute in what proved to be the only goal of the game, with Town working hard to keep a second clean sheet in a row and take all three points back to Yorkshire.

Simon Weaver named the same starting XI that took six points in three days over Christmas, though there was a place on the bench for Mark Beck who returned from a month long injury lay off.

Hartlepool had a couple of long range efforts early on, but Jon Stead's attempt after a quarter of an hour was the first to force a save with debutant Mitchell Beeney keeping out the snapshot.

Stead's strike partner Jack Muldoon was next to have a sight of goal after an intricate Jack Emmett through ball had found the striker, though a recovering defender stuck out a leg to deflect Town's top scorer's finish over the bar.

Just before the half hour mark, some neat play between Josh Falkingham and Jack Emmett created space for Warren Burrell to shoot, but the left back's shot was well blocked by Gary Liddle.

Just like Muldoon in the first half, Stead was unable to capitalise on clever build up play six minutes after the break, firing high and wide after Lloyd Kerry and Falkingham had combined well.

It wasn't long before Stead got his name on the score sheet though, getting the better of his marker to convert Emmett's low cross after Alex Bradley had burst forward from full back.

Town's scorer was replaced in the 78th minute with Beck making his return from injury and almost turning in Muldoon's low cross not long after his arrival.

Hartlepool had made changes themselves with Luke Molyneux also returning from injury and going close to finding the top corner with a curling effort, but that was the closest the hosts would come to an equaliser as Town kept a second clean sheet in a row to secure victory.

Hartlepool: Beeney, Kioso, Raynes, Liddle, Richardson, Featherstone (Hamilton 75), Holohan, Shelton (Molyneux 75), Donaldson, Kabamba, Toure (Kitching 45)

Subs not used: Kerr, Mafuta

Booked: Toure

Town: Belshaw, Falkingham, Burrell, Emmett (Kiernan 80), Bradley, Stead (Beck 77), Kerry, Muldoon, Hall, W Smith, Diamond

Subs not used: G Smith, Thomson, Cracknell

Goals: Stead 57

Referee: A Kitchen

​Attendance: 3,481 (179 away)
Match Result
Hartlepool United
Hartlepool United
0
Town
Town
Stead 57
1
Victoria Park
3:00PM Wednesday 01 January 2020
Attendance 3481
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Chorley
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