Date: 20th July 2014 at 8:36am
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Hartlepool ground out a tough one nil victory over recent friendly opponents Bradford Park Avenue at Horsfall Stadium on Saturday.

The winning goal came courtesy of Jonathan Frank’s but it did come late in the game after Bradford kept us deadlocked for the vast majority of the game.

Manager Colin Cooper had selected a strong starting line up so he will have some disappointment in how the game went, but on the other hand he’d have been delighted with how the lads dug in and kept going and then of course the obvious fitness benefits they’d have got from having to work that hard over 90 minutes.

He also included trialists Eugen Bopp and Biko Bradnock-Brennan, and Tommy Miller and Michael Woods were included on the bench.

A cagey beginning was scrappy as both teams gave away possession easily and couldn’t get into a rhythm but the first real chance of note fell to them, but Scott Flinders easily saved the tame effort.

Marlon Harewood almost scored a freak goal as he chased down their keeper’s attempted clearance, but it bounced for them and not into the net.

However he did have possible the best chance of the half shortly after, as he dropped to the back post and connected with a Michael Duckworth delivery, but couldn’t get it on target.

With the game entering the half time break score less, we did start more brightly in the second period but arguably that was down to Bradford changing all eleven players at the break, but we were now creating more chances and looking more lively on the ball.

After making six changes himself, we then put together our best move of the game where Franks saw his effort deflect wide, and then a chance moments later also sailed past the post.

Eventually, 12 minutes from time, Franks got on the score sheet as he connected with a Darren Holden delivery. He could’ve doubled the advantage shortly after but found the side netting by the narrowest of margins.

Hartlepool:

Flinders (Rafferty 46), Duckworth (Richards 60), Bradnock-Brennan, Bates (Rowbotham 60), Austin (Jones 84), Parnaby (Franks 46), Walker (Miller 60), Bopp (Woods 60), Harewood, James (Smith 84), Compton (Holden 60).

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