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Sky Bet League 1

Bramall Lane (ATT 19,941) 29th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: D Deadman

Sheff Utd Sheffield United vs Hartlepool United Hartlepool

Sheff Utd 2

M Doyle (30)
H Maguire (90+5)

ft

Hartlepool 3

S Howard (7, 72)
R Humphreys (54)

Struggling Pools topple Blades

Last Updated: 29/12/12 6:52pm

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Steve Howard: Netted a brace for Pools

Steve Howard: Netted a brace for Pools

Two goals from veteran striker Steve Howard helped Hartlepool to a surprise 3-2 success at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

Hartlepool ended their miserable 22-game winless run and the Blades' unbeaten home league record.

Lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan Ritchie Humphreys also found the net for the visitors, with Michael Doyle and Harry Maguire scoring for the hosts, who began the day top of League One but slip to second place after this shock defeat.

Bottom-of-the-table Pools took a surprise seventh-minute lead when Howard headed home Evan Horwood's pin-point cross.

Buoyed by that early goal, the visitors put the Blades' defence under pressure for a spell with Howard missing the target after being put through on goal. Jonathan Franks also put an effort off target.

The hosts then enjoyed a good spell of possession with Nick Blackman having a shot on the run saved by Scott Flinders.

But a 30th-minute error from Flinders brought the Blades level, Doyle's 25-yard shot slipping through the goalkeeper's hands and into the back of the net.

Humphreys put Hartlepool back in front with a near-post shot after 54 minutes, George Long got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

Howard handed them a two-gaol cushion with a looping header from James Poole's cross in the 72nd minute.

The visitors hung on until stoppage tim when Maguire's 12-yard finish made it 3-2 but it was too little, too late for Danny Wilson's side.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bristol City 33 70
2 Milton Keynes Dons 33 62
3 Preston North End 32 62
4 Swindon Town 33 61
5 Sheffield United 32 53
6 Doncaster Rovers 33 48
7 Chesterfield 33 45
8 Bradford City 32 45
9 Port Vale 33 45
10 Peterborough United 33 44
11 Fleetwood Town 33 44
12 Barnsley 33 44
13 Oldham Athletic 32 43
14 Gillingham 33 42
15 Rochdale 31 41
16 Walsall 33 41
17 Scunthorpe United 32 41
18 Crewe Alexandra 33 39
19 Notts County 32 38
20 Coventry City 32 36
21 Leyton Orient 32 35
22 Colchester United 33 34
23 Crawley Town 33 34
24 Yeovil Town 33 30