AT the fourth time of asking this season and at the tenth attempt, Hartlepool United last night finally managed to get the better of Brentford.

After a League One defeat at Griffin Park this season, an FA Cup draw and an FA Cup defeat, Pool kept up the pressure in the push for a play-off place.

Brentford's win at Victoria Park 11 days ago might have secured a money-spinning game at Southampton, but this victory was just as rewarding for Neale Cooper.

Pool are now eight points ahead of the visitors and move into fourth place in League One, just six points off second-place Hull who Pool face in two weeks.

Adam Boyd, Eifion Williams and Antony Sweeney gave Pool the points, but the inspiration was Joel Porter who played a part in all three goals.

Snow might be alien to the Australian, but he revelled in the conditions.

As the snow started to fall, Pool soon warmed their fans with a bright opening.

Adam Boyd floated over a deft cross from the right and it found the marauding Sweeney.

He steered his shot low across goal towards the far corner and keeper Stuart Nelson managed to get down low to his right and paw it away.

Gavin Strachan's corner from the right was floated towards the danger area and, with keeper and defenders static, it clipped the top of the bar.

Pool forced two more corners in a very lively start, but they were both scrambled away.

With the pitch turning white, Pool were clearly determined to paint a true picture, after their FA Cup hopes were ended at Victoria Park 11 days ago when Jack Ross was red carded just eight minutes in.

But it was Dimi Konstantopoulos who was asked to make the next save.

Eddie Hutchinson took the ball into the penalty area and his low drive was kept out by the big Greek.

Big defender Michael Turner has been outstanding in each of the three previous games between the side this season and his defending was exemplary in front of his own goal last night.

As Porter swung over a cross, it looked as if the slightest touch would see the ball in the net, but Turner swept it away from the line despite pressure from Boyd.

Pool forced two more corners in succession, but again they came to nothing.

Porter burst into the area and the home defenders stood off to allow him to shoot. The ball bounced loose and eventually rolled to Boyd, who fizzed a low shot wide.

He then chased a majestic ball from Nelson towards the left, and with his less-favoured right foot fired a shot that crashed off the covering Hutchinson.

Boyd curled a fierce shot at goal from an angle that Nelson went full stretch to push away. Williams looked set to tap in the rebound, but could only lift it over the bar.

Ritchie Humphreys picked up a loose ball inside his own penalty area and, without looking, played the ball back towards Konstantopoulos.

But the skipper was unaware of the presence of Isaiah Rankin and knocked the ball straight into his path and he rolled the ball into the net.

Humphreys was furious with himself for the error - but he was thankful that Boyd spared his blushes.

Porter was sandwiched by two red shirts inside the box as he prepared to pull the trigger and Boyd confidently slotted in his 20th goal of the season from the spot.

It was just the response Pool needed in front of their lowest home League crowd of the season, 4,206.

Strachan had fired over some deft corners and a flag kick on 65 minutes almost brought a goal - Ben Clark crashing a header off a post.

But they were rewarded with Williams' sixth goal of the season.

Once again it came from an interchange between Boyd and Porter. The latter fed the former and he crossed across the six yard box for Williams to gleefully thump home.

It was game over on 87 minutes and again Porter was the architect.

He bombed forward at the Brentford defence and played a weighted pass into Sweeney who tucked home his 12th goal of the season.

Result: Hartlepool United 3 Brentford 1.

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