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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 20 42
2 Swindon Town 20 41
3 Milton Keynes Dons 19 38
4 Preston North End 20 38
5 Sheffield United 20 32
6 Rochdale 20 30
7 Notts County 19 30
8 Oldham Athletic 20 30
9 Peterborough United 20 30
10 Bradford City 20 29
11 Fleetwood Town 20 26
12 Walsall 20 26
13 Chesterfield 20 25
14 Coventry City 20 24
15 Barnsley 20 23
16 Port Vale 20 23
17 Doncaster Rovers 19 23
18 Gillingham 20 22
19 Scunthorpe United 19 22
20 Crawley Town 20 22
21 Yeovil Town 20 20
22 Leyton Orient 20 19
23 Colchester United 20 17
24 Crewe Alexandra 20 16