Walsall raced to their fourth successive home win with a 3-1 victory against previously in-form Hartlepool.

The match was a great advert for League One and Hartlepool played their part with some excellent football, but missed chances to continue their impressive run which had seen them win four of the previous five games.

Walsall, giving their best home display of the season, took the lead after seven minutes when Alex Nicholls released Steve Jones down the right and his cross led to a scramble in the goalmouth. An attempted clearance hit home winger Julian Gray and bounced over the line for his fourth goal for the club.

Hartlepool responded with some lively raids often featuring Andy Monkhouse and in the 27th minute a quick through ball saw Roy O'Donovan beat the offside trap and the on-loan Sunderland striker went round keeper Rene Gilmartin to slot home his ninth goal in 13 games.

Two minutes later Walsall were back in front when top scorer Troy Deeney held off a couple of challenges in the box before steering a left-foot shot home for his 12th of the season.

Hartlepool dominated the opening exchanges of the second half but James Brown fired over and Leon McSweeney headed over from Brown's deep cross.

Walsall made sure of the points in the 76th minute with a brilliant four-man move which ended with Gray sending man-of-the-match Richard Taundry clear to notch his third of the season.

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Topics:
#Sunderland
#Rene Gilmartin
#Football
#Troy Deeney
#League One
#Walsall
#Richard Taundry
#Leon McSweeney
#Alex
#Julian Gray
#Andy Monkhouse
#James Brown
#Steve Jones
#Roy O'Donovan