Hartlepool move out of bottom two after home win over nine-man Rochdale
A powerful second-half performance lifted Hartlepool out of the relegation places as they saw off nine-man Rochdale 2-0.
Goals from strike partners Josh Umerah and Jack Hamilton, after Dale’s Ethan Ebanks-Landell was red-carded, were enough to dump Dale to the bottom of the table.
After a flat opening half, with neither side offering an attacking threat, the game sparked into life on 51 minutes.
Centre-half Ebanks-Landell and Hamilton challenged for a bouncing ball and, after Hamilton appeared to be caught by a high boot, referee Marc Edwards brandished a red card.
Three minutes later, Pools broke the deadlock.
Jamie Sterry fired in a low drive after a corner was cleared, goalkeeper Jake Eastwood saved from Hamilton and Umerah was on hand to tap into an empty net for his 13th goal of the season.
The second goal came on 64 minutes. Newly-signed defender Daniel Dodds unleashed a low shot, it was spilled by Eastwood and Hamilton dived in to head home his third of the campaign.
Dale’s misery was compounded in stoppage time when substitute Sam Graham was booked for the second time and sent off.