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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 44 93
2 Preston North End 44 86
3 Milton Keynes Dons 44 85
4 Swindon Town 43 77
5 Sheffield United 44 69
6 Chesterfield 44 68
7 Rochdale 44 63
8 Fleetwood Town 44 60
9 Gillingham 44 59
10 Bradford City 44 59
11 Barnsley 44 59
12 Peterborough United 44 59
13 Doncaster Rovers 44 58
14 Walsall 44 56
15 Oldham Athletic 44 56
16 Scunthorpe United 44 53
17 Coventry City 44 52
18 Port Vale 44 51
19 Crawley Town 44 50
20 Crewe Alexandra 44 49
21 Leyton Orient 44 47
22 Notts County 44 47
23 Colchester United 43 45
24 Yeovil Town 44 40