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Hartlepool United 0 Stevenage 2
HARTLEPOOL UNITED gave an improved performance, but suffered a familiar outcome, going down 2-0 at home to Stevenage.
Pools have now lost five successive games at Victoria Park and have now won since September 1- a 20-game run that equals a club record set in 1993.
They started well and, after two weeks without a game, created plenty first-half chances.
Goalkeeper Steve Arnold saved from Jordan Richards who struck a firm shot from distance and, a minute later, a Charlie Wyke header, before the visitors scored with their first attack.
Luke Freeman’s cross was met powerfully by Marcus Haber and, after his header crashed back off the post, he reacted quickest to prod in the rebound from eight yards.
Pools’ best chance for a leveller came when, from a chipped Ritchie Humphreys cross, Steve Howard was outjumped by two of his own players in the six-yard area and the ball was headed over.
Stevenage made the game safe on 60 minutes from the penalty spot. Jordan Richards handled a deep cross and Lewis Akins rolled in from 12 yards.
Pools went close to scoring four times in the seven minutes of additional time, but the chances went begging..