MATCH REPORT: Newport County 2-3 Hartlepool United

Goals from James Clarke and Rob Street were not enough as Hartlepool were 3-2 winners over Newport County on Friday night.

Clarke gave County the lead by getting a decisive touch on Matt Dolan's whipped-in free-kick from the right but strikes from Jamie Sterry and Luke Molyneux completed a first-half turnaround from Hartlepool.

Street levelled matters in the second half but Hartlepool immediately went back in-front at 3-2 thanks to Neill Byrne and they saw the game out for maximum points.

The Pool had the first shot of the game, but Joe Day was equal to Omar Bogle's tame shot from the edge of the box, with Finn Azaz shooting just wide from distance a minute later.

Azaz was also involved in County's next move, but his chipped through ball had just too much on it and it evaded Oliver Cooper's outstretched boot. 

Molyneux then headed wide for the away side before Clarke prodded County into a 1-0 lead on 16 minutes.

County came close to making it 2-0 on two occasions, with Azaz having a powerful effort from the edge of the box palmed away by Ben Killip to his left before Killip punched away Dolan's free-kick from the right of the area.

Sterry made it 1-1 on 35 minutes though with a shot from close range and Molyneux made it 2-1 with a strike from the left of the box.

County struggled to get into their rhythm in the second half as they found it difficult to break down an organised Hartlepool side, while Molyneux missed from close range as he skied over a good chance to make it 3-1 in the 68th minute.

Newport did get their leveller three minutes later though when Street got the decisive touch to James Waite's cross from the right of the box for 2-2.

However, just two minutes after that, Byrne put Hartlepool ahead again with a header from inside the box. 

James Rowberry's men pushed for the late leveller, but Scot Bennett's ambitious bicycle kick from the edge of the box that was held by Kilip was the closest they came to making it 3-3.

Newport County: Joe Day, Cameron Norman, James Clarke (Aaron Lewis '49), Mickey Demetriou, Ryan Haynes, Scot Bennett, Finn Azaz, Matt Dolan (C) (Robbie Willmott '75), Oliver Cooper (James Waite '45), Rob Street, Dom Telford

Subs not used: Evan Ovendale, Kevin Ellison, Lewis Collins, Alex Fisher

Hartlepool United: Ben Killip, Jamie Sterry, Neill Byrne, Gary Liddle, Timi Odusina, David Ferguson, Gary Featherstone (C), Martin Smith (Isaac Fletcher '63), Tom Crawford, Luke Molyneux, Omar Bogle (Marcus Carver '67)

Subs not used: Nicholas Bilokapic, Jake Hull, Reagan Ogle, Zaine Francis-Angol, Joe Grey