Hartlepool moved to within three points of the play-offs as they brushed aside Bristol Rovers.

The home side took the lead in the first minute through Marlon Harewood, who headed in Jack Barmby's corner.

Pools doubled their lead when Bradley Walker curled in from 25 yards and Simon Walton's penalty after Harewood was fouled by Tom Parkes made it 3-0.

The emphatic victory was wrapped up late on as Jon Franks cracked in a shot after Luke James had hit the post.

Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper told BBC Tees:

Post-match: Hartlepool boss Cooper

"Bristol Rovers had a long week and I think the biggest thing for us was to make sure we got on the front foot early.

"Some of the football we played was very good. I'm greedy as I always think we can do more but we really were excellent.

"Brad Walker is an exceptional young player - he was the catalyst for our whole performance.

"What was really pleasing is that we built superbly. The defence and goalkeeper gave us the foundation to win."

Bristol Rovers manager John Ward told BBC Radio Bristol:

Post-match: Bristol Rovers boss Ward

"That's the first time I've felt like that in the long time I've been here, around 14 or 15 months.

"We went under a little bit tamely and that's not something we've ever done before. We've always fought it out, we've always been hard to beat. But not today.

"We've been beaten by a good team, don't get me wrong. They've got some very good players.

"But certainly we have assisted with their goal efforts and the goals that they've scored."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Hartlepool United

  • 01 Flinders
  • 19 Richards
  • 22 Holden
  • 38 Walker (Hawkins - 78' )
  • 05 Collins
  • 35 Burgess
  • 08 Walton
  • 11 Monkhouse (Compton - 15' )
  • 33 James
  • 09 Harewood (Franks - 64' )
  • 12 Barmby

Substitutes

  • 07 Franks
  • 10 Poole
  • 13 Rafferty
  • 14 Compton
  • 15 Sweeney
  • 16 Rowbotham
  • 28 Hawkins

Bristol Rovers

  • 01 Mildenhall
  • 02 Smith
  • 07 Clarkson (Santos - 57' )
  • 14 Brown
  • 04 Woodards (Clarke - 75' )
  • 06 Parkes Booked
  • 09 Harrold
  • 25 Clucas (Beardsley - 57' )
  • 39 Mohamed
  • 32 O'Toole
  • 29 McChrystal

Substitutes

  • 08 Gillespie
  • 17 Harrison
  • 19 Beardsley
  • 20 Gough
  • 24 Clarke
  • 30 Lockyer
  • 33 Santos
Ref: Seb Stockbridge
Att: 3,480

Match Stats

Shots

12 4

On target

6 1

Corners

6 4

Fouls

7 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Hartlepool United 4, Bristol Rovers 0.

90:00 +3:02 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Hartlepool United 4, Bristol Rovers 0.

90:00 +2:29

Attempt missed. Jonathan Franks (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

90:00 +1:06

Hand ball by Jonathan Franks (Hartlepool United).

89:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hartlepool United 4, Bristol Rovers 0. Jonathan Franks (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Luke James.

89:18

Luke James (Hartlepool United) hits the left post with a right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left.

88:24

Hand ball by Matt Harrold (Bristol Rovers).

83:43

Chris Beardsley (Bristol Rovers) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box.

81:29

Attempt missed. Jonathan Franks (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

79:15

Foul by Luke James (Hartlepool United).

79:15

Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hartlepool United. Lewis Hawkins replaces Brad Walker.

76:18

Attempt missed. John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

74:56 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Ollie Clarke replaces Dan Woodards.

73:56

Attempt missed. Luke James (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

71:05

Foul by Simon Walton (Hartlepool United).

71:05

Kaid Mohamed (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

68:02

Foul by Jack Compton (Hartlepool United).

68:02

Lee Brown (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

66:03

Luke James (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:03

Foul by Kaid Mohamed (Bristol Rovers).

63:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hartlepool United. Jonathan Franks replaces Marlon Harewood.

63:03

Attempt missed. Luke James (Hartlepool United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

61:33

Sam Collins (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

61:33

Foul by Matt Harrold (Bristol Rovers).

58:23

Foul by Marlon Harewood (Hartlepool United).

58:23

Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

56:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Chris Beardsley replaces Seanan Clucas.

56:23 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Alefe Santos replaces David Clarkson.

55:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hartlepool United 3, Bristol Rovers 0. Simon Walton (Hartlepool United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

55:05

Penalty Hartlepool United. Marlon Harewood draws a foul in the penalty area.

55:05

Penalty conceded by Mark McChrystal (Bristol Rovers) after a foul in the penalty area.

53:34

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Tom Parkes.

53:20

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Mark McChrystal.

51:32 Booking

Booking Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

51:25

Luke James (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

51:25

Foul by Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers).

45:00

Second Half begins Hartlepool United 2, Bristol Rovers 0.

45:00 +0:56 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Hartlepool United 2, Bristol Rovers 0.

43:02

Attempt saved. John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

39:44

Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Christian Burgess.

38:46

Attempt missed. Brad Walker (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

35:17

Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Sam Collins.

30:25

Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Christian Burgess.

28:55

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by John-Joe O'Toole.

28:14

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Steve Mildenhall.

28:04

Attempt saved. Brad Walker (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

24:58

Attempt missed. Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

24:10

Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Sam Collins.

19:09

Foul by Marlon Harewood (Hartlepool United).

19:09

John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:35

Foul by Jack Compton (Hartlepool United).

17:35

Kaid Mohamed (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:43 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hartlepool United 2, Bristol Rovers 0. Brad Walker (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jack Barmby.

14:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hartlepool United. Jack Compton replaces Andy Monkhouse because of an injury.

10:45

Andy Monkhouse (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:45

Foul by John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers).

9:27

Sam Collins (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

9:27

Foul by Matt Harrold (Bristol Rovers).

7:00

Andy Monkhouse (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:55

Foul by John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers).

4:30

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Tom Parkes.

4:20

Attempt saved. Brad Walker (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

1:13 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hartlepool United 1, Bristol Rovers 0. Marlon Harewood (Hartlepool United) header from very close range to the top left corner. Assisted by Jack Barmby with a cross.

0:48

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Tom Parkes.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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