After an evenly contested opening forty-five which saw Wanderers lose James McShane and Joe Cook to injury at each end of the half, Jason Prior headed home his sixth goal of the campaign from a corner ball with an hour played, the striker then also having to be withdrawn from the action after suffering a head injury. Reducing the hosts to few chances, Tom Blair made sure of the win near the end of regulation time with another brilliant solo effort after opening his Wanderers account last weekend.
Marc White made just one change to the side victorious at Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday evening, Dan Pybus returning from his one-match ban and replacing Aaron Kuhl who dropped to the bench.Less than sixty seconds were showing on the clock when McShane went down clutching the back of his leg, the Wanderers skipper for the a
fternoon withdrawn after a few minutes of receiving treatment with Kuhl coming on in his place. Post-match it was confirmed McShane had suffered a hamstring injury.
David Ferguson got joy advancing down the left flank in the early exchanges, the Pools skipper standing up a cross for Mani Dieseruvwe to head over for the first chance of the game, the Hartlepool top scorer almost making aerial contact on Charlie Seaman’s delivery from the opposite channel not long after.
It was a similar situation for Wanderers up the other end with Briggs bending in a cross which Prior could only direct wide, Kuhl then unfortunate not to pick out the striker after digging out another cross from the attacking right.
Play remained steadily paced and evenly contested in the lead up to half-time but Gallagher did go mighty close to breaking the deadlock twice in quick succession; seeing his header from Francomb’s corner ball brilliantly pushed away at point blank range by keeper Pete Jameson before the Pools defense manage to clear another headed effort just in front of goal after Prior stood up the ball up from the right.
Into added on time at the end of the first half Cook had to be withdrawn after suffering a head injury and cut above his eye. Harry Ottaway came on in his place as Dan Gallagher dropped into the back three.
Not long after the restart, Prior was the next Wanderers player in the wars, taking a knock to the head which required several minutes of treatment and a bandage being applied.
Deemed okay to carry on by the physio team, it was not long afterwards that Prior opened the scoring and put Wanderers in front. Francomb’s corner driven towards the back post was headed back across goal and into the bottom corner by the striker, who celebrated in front of the travelling Wanderers contingent right next to the action at that end of the ground.
With a quarter of the game remaining Prior took another knock and this time had to be replaced, Ryan Seager the man coming off the bench.
The Wanderers rear-guard were working heard to reduce the hosts to speculative shots as Harrison Male remained untested in goal, another decent aerial opportunity falling for Wanderers up the other end with Ottaway’s header saved by Jameson after Josh Taylor scooped the ball into the box to set up the chance.
Hartlepool did have the ball in the back of the net with just under ten minutes remaining, substitute Josh Umerah firing across goal and Dieseruvwe turning the ball over the line from very close range, the linesman’s flag ruling out the goal for offside.
As the end of regulation time drew closer and a substantial amount of additional time beckoned, Wanderers managed to put the game to bed; Blair gathering the ball on the left and shifting inside before clinically hammering a strike into the bottom right corner of goal from just outside the box. Not dissimilar to his effort scored against Rochdale last weekend, that’s two goals in three games now for the man signed from Havant & Waterlooville earlier this month.
Seeing the game out through 11 minutes of added on time, the win is Wanderers third in succession away from home, Marc White’s men registering a fourth consecutive clean sheet on their travels in the process.
Back under the Meadowbank lights this Tuesday evening, Kidderminster Harriers are the visitors for a 19:45 kick off as Wanderers begin the month of October with back-to-back home games.
Hartlepool United (3-5-2): 1 Pete Jameson, 27 Luke Hendrie, 23 Manny Onaraise, 26 Zac Johnson; 21 Charlie Seaman (9 Josh Umerah 81′), 14 Oliver Finney, 19 Osazee Aghatise (11 Chris Wreh 67′), 22 Tom Crawford; 12 Joe Grey, 20 Mani Dieseruvwe
Unused Subs: 1 Joel Dixon, 18 Kieran Burton, 24 Brody Paterson
Yellow Cards: Crawford 31′
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Harrison Male, 37 George Francomb, 15 Joe Cook (24 Harry Ottaway 45+2′), 12 Callum Kennedy; 20 Dan Gallagher, 4 Dan Pybus, 17 Josh Taylor, 29 Tom Blair; 11 James McShane (c) (25 Aaron Kuhl 3′), 9 Jason Prior (19 Ryan Seager 68′)
Goals: Prior 63′, Blair 87′
Yellow Card: Gallagher 59′
Referee: Steven Copeland
Attendance: 4,002 (81 Wanderers Supporters)