A disappointing night for Rovers, as the last of the three ‘must win’ games was lost to a Hartlepool side who came into the evening off 20 league games without a win.
The first half started slowly, with few chances for the visitors as Hartlepool looked to take control. Rovers’ main first half opportunity came from Luke Molyneux against his former club; his shot from distance rattling the outside of the post. The hosts had their own chance shortly after; Jonathan Mitchell forced into a fine save from centre half Rollin Menayese’s angled header.
At that point, many Rovers fans, myself included, would’ve been happy to go into the break with the score 0-0. Yet a defensive error on the Rovers left just before half-time proved costly as Pools top scorer Josh Umerah managed to bundle in a cross. It was evident Rovers needed a much better second half if they wanted to get anything from the match.
In fairness, the second half showed glimpses of what Rovers were capable of up until the equaliser; a fine finish from youngster Bobby Faulkner from around 14 yards finding the far corner. Rovers continued to take control, and decent chances for Kieran Agard and Harrison Biggins could’ve proved the difference.
However Hartlepool capitalised on the missed opportunities as another defensive error allowed Wes McDonald to slot home. Game over.
The full-time whistle was met with a chorus of boos as the travelling fans put across their frustrations at a disappointing trip north.