Hartlepool United 1 Crawley Town 0 RECAP: Reds sunk by late Pools winner on opening day
It's the day Crawley Town supporters have been waiting all summer for - the first Saturday of the 2021-22 League Two campaign.
The Reds will look to get the new season off to a winning start away at newly-promoted Hartlepool United this afternoon (3pm). And you can follow all the action here with our live blog. Just scroll down the page for fresh updates as the game progresses
LIVE: Hartlepool United 1 Crawley Town 0
Last updated: Saturday, 07 August, 2021, 16:57
- Hartlepool United mark their return to EFL action against Crawley Town at Victoria Park this afternoon.
- It’s been over four years since Pools’ last League Two match.
- Pools doubts: Mark Cullen (hamstring)
- Pools outs: Joe Grey (back), Tom Crawford (illness)
- Pools: Killip, Sterry, Ferguson, Liddle, Odusina, Bryne, Shelton, Featherstone (C), Holohan, Molyneux, Olomola. Pools subs: Mitchell, Smith, Ogle, Daly, Francis-Angol, Cullen.
- Crawley: Morris, Davies, Gallacher, Craig (C), Powell, Nadesan, Frost, Tunnicliffe, Matthews, Payne, Hessenthaler. Crawley subs: Tilley, Francillette, Ferry, Ashford, Khaleel, Nria Noukey, Dallison.
FT: Pools beat Crawley Town 1-0 on return to the Football League!
Pools are back in the Football League and they start with a win - Dave Challinor and the players go over to celebrate with the fans.
Holohan the late hero for Pools. They are up and running!
Pools leave it late but Holohan puts Pools ahead
Just three minutes added time here. Superb celebrations as Holohan puts Pools ahead, he slides on his knees in front of the North West Corner.
Pools are back in the Football League and heading for a big three points here
GOOOAAAALLLL!!! Holohan with the late goal
Pools are ahead! Holohan with the late strike to make it 1-0 Pools
Final sub for Crawley
Matthews heads off, on comes Tilley in the 74th minute.
70’ Cullen is coming on shortly for Pools
The forward has been warming up for a while now and looks to be coming on next.
Burey has made a positive impact since coming on, the winger is looking to get at the Crawley defence.
Pools need a further spark though if they are to capitalise here, they deserve the victory so far, been the stronger outfit.
No changes at the break
And we are back underway here, no changes at the break for either side.
Goalless and all to play for.
Half-time player ratings in our Pools blog
Ben Killip: Wasn’t troubled in the first half, distribution could have been better. 6
Jamie Sterry: Busy in the opening period, two good crosses. Pools’ best player first half, superb crosses into the box. 7
David Ferguson: Had a good opening 7 minutes in, curled effort wide. Got forward well. 7
Gary Liddle: Took an early knock but assured throughout. 6
Timi Odusina: Full of running next to Liddle, tracked back well. 6
Neill Bryne: Solid enough home debut from the summer signing, missed a good chance at the back post to score. 6
Mark Shelton: Full of running in the midfield three. 6
Nicky Featherstone ©: Cool and calm in possession. 7
Gavan Holohan: Similar to Shelton, full of energy and running. Had a great chance early on but fired wide. 6
Luke Molyneux: Keen to make an impression and seize his chance, linked up well with Olomola. 6
Olufela Olomola: Full of running early on, led the line well, capable of a good cross too. 6
HT: And it’s goalless here at the break
Pools have had the best of the openings here but it remains goalless at the break.
All to play for in the second half, Crawley grew into the game but their final ball needs to improve if they are to challenge Killip & Co at the back for Pools.
Up the other end Ferguson and Holohan have had the best openings, Molyneux saw a deflected effort saved.
Ten minutes to go until half-time
Crawley are enjoying more of the game now, a couple of corners and free-kicks but the quality on the delivery in has been poor.
A chant of ‘keep it going lads, come on’ from a Pools fan in the Mill House.