HARTLEPOOL UNITED enjoyed a Bank Holiday spectacular. It makes a change from Saturday night misery at Victoria Park.

Pools, after two home defeats and a draw this season, saw off Wrexham in style. It was the sort of entertaining football boss Craig Hignett demands from his players.

The visitors deserve credit for turning up with attacking intent, which made for an open game.

But Pools, with Aaron Cunningham immense at the back and two goal Liam Noble dictating in midfield, were too good for the visitors who were down to ten men for the closing minutes.

Hignett said: “You have to earn the wins in this league and they don’t come easy. It’s fine margins when things go for you which can push you up there.

“Today was positive all round, the crowd were really good and competition for places helps that. I think that makes a real difference and the lads are confident and good players.

“After winning at Maidenhead we didn’t kick on, but now we need to. Four points from two games this weekend is decent and gets us up and running, the league is tight and it’s pleasing to win at home.’’

Pools started without Mafuta – the midfielder coming out of the tunnel after the game started. He spoke to the fourth official and was allowed on the pitch before being yellow carded by referee David Richardson.

When he tugged back Wrexham’s Bobby Grant minutes later he could easily have been on his way back to the changing rooms.

Mafuta was out for kick-off, realised he had forgot his GPS monitor, and went back to get it. In that time none of his team-mates alerted the referee of his absence and the game started.

Pools were compact in formation, the 3-5-2 set up keeping them tight in the middle and on the left side Mark Kitching was again much improved on last season.

In the back line, Aaron Cunningham was tight and defending like he meant it.

The concern was that the visitors were still finding space with their midfield movement and runs. Pools had a scare when a fluent move from the back led to Devonte Redmond fluffing his shooting chance ten yards out.

But next time the visitors motored ahead, they took the lead. Akil Wright had space to shoot and his effort deflected off Fraser Kerr, sending the ball to the other side of the goal to the one guarded by Ben Killip.

There was an instant response. Neat footwork in a tight position on the edge of the area from Liam Noble saw him curl towards the top corner. Keeper Christian Dibble, son of Andy, saved well.

From the corner, headed on to the six-yard area, Gime Toure nodded in from close range.

Three minutes after the restart, Pools were ahead. Cunningham’s storming run from halfway led to his dipping shot being saved. As the ball bounced around, Liam Noble was pinned down in the area. It was, a rather soft penalty award, but Noble knew what was coming.

He made no mistake with the most confident of penalty finishes.

Three minutes later, the midfielder got his second. He made the most of a bounce in his favour on the edge of the area, some wide open defending in front of him and his low shot across Dibble lifted the roof off at Victoria Park.

But the visitors were given a penalty of their own minutes later, more holding down in the penalty area, this time from Cunningham, and Bobby Grant’s low spot kick rolled into the corner.

After throwing away a two-goal lead against Fylde already this season, any home nerves were justified.

They were eased when some sterling work from Noble, chasing a deep Mark Kitching cross, saw the midfielder clip the ball back across goal for Toure to glide home his second header of the afternoon.

The visitors were then reduced to ten men, centre-half Jacob Lawler’s lunge into Jason Kennedy ending his day early.

Four Pools goals and a Wrexham red-card in under 20 minutes: Bank Holiday entertainment galore. But credit to the visitors. While plenty of teams visit Victoria Park with the intent of sitting back and defending, they were willing and able to attack. It made for a free-flowing game, memories of the Pools 4 Wrexham 6 encounter under Neale Cooper in 2004 to the fore.

Ben Killip then preserved the lead with a fine fingertip save to keep out a Shaun Pearson curler. The goalkeeper deserved that moment after a difficult start to his Pools days.