Hartlepool at Home: Four Good, One Bad

Darrell Clarke and his players returned to form with a bang on Tuesday night’s encounter with Hartlepool as we ran out 4-1 winners thanks to a hat-trick from Matty Taylor and a goal from Rory Gaffney. Here’s my analysis from a thoroughly professional performance by the boys in blue and white.

Four Good

Taylor Was Fantastic

There’s only one place to start, and that’s with Tuesday’s star man and hat-trick hero Matty Taylor. The striker put to bed a poor run of goal scoring form with an emphatic trio of goals to help us on our way to the three points. He would have gotten four had it not been for the linesman’s flag, and before he left the pitch to a standing ovation he put in a near perfect performance to help us on our way.

Lawrence Was Much Improved

I, along with many other gasheads, haven’t been overly pleased with the former Irish international since he joined us back in January – but I must admit he was impressive against Hartlepool. The only criticism I would have of him is that I’m not sure a wide position suits him because of his tendency to come inside a lot, but it was certainly the best he’s played since he signed from Shrewsbury.

Lines Is Back

I’ve been frustrated with the lack of game time that Lines has been given recently as I’d consider him to be our best midfielder, but if Darrell was questioning why he should be in the team then he certainly answered on Tuesday. He was all over the pitch, spraying some fantastic passes around and also doing his defensive duty – which he sometimes gets criticised for not doing enough of – and I’d be very disappointed if he doesn’t push on or get a run in the team after his performance.

We’re Back Into The Top Seven

The play off race in League Two is quite simply astounding at the moment with Portsmouth in 5th and Cambridge in 12th being separated by just three points. Luckily our win last night moved us up to 6th, level on points with Pompey, and if we can sort our away form out against Notts County this weekend and Newport at the end of March then we’re in with a great chance of finishing in the play offs.

One Bad

Gaffney Picked Up a Knock

Just when our ‘Ginger God’ was finding his form and getting back on the scoresheet, it looks as if he might have picked up a knock in a game where him and Taylor were outstanding. He was able to walk off the pitch and, hopefully at least, it won’t be anything to serious as he’s a key part of our team and we need him back on the pitch as soon as possible.

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