Football / FA Cup: Cork denies Hartlepool

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The Independent Online
Sheffield United. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Hartlepool United. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

HARTLEPOOL, who overcame Crystal Palace and a winding-up order to reach the fourth round, succumbed to a goal by the only man on the field with a Cup winner's medal, United's veteran striker Alan Cork.

But the Second Division side went out with honour; a spirited fightback was almost rewarded when Andy Saville's snap shot flashed wide.

Hartlepool's sturdy defence, organised round their own veteran, the former Blades central defender John MacPhail, withstood a first half of constant pressure in which poor crossing and poorer finishing prevented Sheffield putting the game beyond reach. Brian Deane, perhaps daunted by expectations of a possible hat-trick of hat-tricks saw a shot and a header miss the target. Cork had a shot charged down by Nicky Southall, Steve Jones raced out of his area to deny Franz Carr, and Glyn Hodges shot wide with only Jones to beat.

To their credit, Hartlepool tried to play their way out of adversity, though Lenny Johnrose's cross, headed away by Paul Beesley, was the best they had to show for it. Their resistance ended two minutes after the interval. Hodges' cross was deflected into Cork's path, and the 33-year-old striker turned nimbly on the angle of the six-yard box and delicately chipped the advancing Jones to put United into the fifth round. Hartlepool's next round is in court, when they try to get the suspended winding-up order rescinded.

Sheffield United: A Kelly; K Gage, D Barnes, J Hoyland, B Gayle, P Beesley, F Carr (M Ward 83 min), P Rogers, A Cork, B Deane, G Hodges (I Bryson 75 min). Manager: D Bassett.

Hartlepool United: S Jones; R Cross, P Cross, P Gilchrist, J MacPhail, M Tait, L Johnrose, N Southall, A Saville, B Honour, J Gallacher (N Peverall 78 min). Sub not used: P Wratten. Manager: A Murray.

Referee: R Bigger (Denton).

Goal: Cork (1-0, 47 min).