Hartlepool pick up big win over fellow strugglers Rochdale
Rochdale’s relegation concerns intensified after Callum Cooke’s spectacular free-kick handed fellow League Two strugglers Hartlepool a 2-1 win.
After Ian Henderson cancelled out Rollin Menayese’s first-half opener, Cooke struck to leave Dale second bottom, two points from safety.
Pools were marginally better in the first half, with Josh Umerah and Jamie Sterry testing Richard O’Donnell from distance.
The visitors took the lead in the 39th minute. Cooke’s corner was headed straight back to him by the home defence and at the second attempt he picked out Menayese who powered a header into the roof of the net.
Rochdale improved after the break. Danny Lloyd went close to a debut goal for Dale but saw his goalbound shot blocked.
Henderson found the net from a tight angle but was flagged offside.
Henderson made his next effort count in the 59th minute. A Dale break ended with the ball dropping to him at the far post with his back to goal and the experienced striker backheeled a neat finish past Ben Killip for the equaliser.
Pools had offered little threat in the second period but regained the lead with a stunning effort from Cooke in the 80th minute, his 25-yard effort flying over the Dale wall into O’Donnell’s net to move his side three points above the relegation zone.