Oxford United beat fellow promotion-hopefuls Hartlepool to strengthen their grip on a League Two play-off place.

Jack Barmby had chances at both the start and end of the first half for Hartlepool, but saw his first effort go wide before Ryan Clarke saved well.

Simon Walton was sent off for his second yellow card and the hosts took advantage within two minutes.

David Connolly's header from David Hunt's free-kick helped the U's close the gap on third place to six points.

Sixth-placed Oxford are now six points clear of eighth-placed Southend, who were held to a goalless draw by struggling Bristol Rovers.

Oxford's victory could be Mickey Lewis's last match as caretaker manager, with chairman Ian Lenagan announcing before kick-off that a new manager should be appointed over the weekend.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

Oxford United

  • 01 Clarke
  • 34 Bevans
  • 13 Hunt
  • 16 Whing
  • 30 Long
  • 06 Wright
  • 15 Williams (Potter - 37' )
  • 37 Ruffels
  • 09 Constable (Smalley - 93' )
  • 24 Connolly
  • 07 Rigg

Substitutes

  • 10 Smalley
  • 11 Potter
  • 17 Rose
  • 18 Davies
  • 21 Crocombe
  • 22 Wroe
  • 35 O'Dowda

Hartlepool United

  • 01 Flinders
  • 19 Richards Booked
  • 22 Holden (Poole - 86' )
  • 14 Compton (Sweeney - 78' )
  • 05 Collins
  • 35 Burgess
  • 08 Walton Dismissed after an earlier booking
  • 38 Walker
  • 33 James
  • 09 Harewood
  • 12 Barmby (Franks - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Franks
  • 10 Poole
  • 13 Rafferty
  • 15 Sweeney
  • 16 Rowbotham
  • 21 Duckworth
  • 28 Hawkins
Ref: Andy Davies
Att: 4,954

Match Stats

Shots

10 9

On target

4 3

Corners

9 9

Fouls

6 17

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Oxford United 1, Hartlepool United 0.

90:00 +4:53 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Oxford United 1, Hartlepool United 0.

90:00 +4:41

Attempt saved. Antony Sweeney (Hartlepool United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

90:00 +3:34

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Jordan Richards.

90:00 +3:11

Attempt missed. Luke James (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.

90:00 +2:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Oxford United. Dean Smalley replaces James Constable.

90:00 +1:53

Foul by James Constable (Oxford United).

90:00 +1:53

Antony Sweeney (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +1:17

(Oxford United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +1:17

Foul by Marlon Harewood (Hartlepool United).

90:00 +0:59

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Andrew Whing.

90:00 +0:51

Attempt blocked. Luke James (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

89:56

Attempt missed. Alfie Potter (Oxford United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

85:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hartlepool United. James Poole replaces Darren Holden.

85:00

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

84:59

Foul by Sam Long (Oxford United).

84:39

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Brad Walker.

83:51

Attempt missed. Andrew Whing (Oxford United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

83:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hartlepool United. Jonathan Franks replaces Jack Barmby.

82:40

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Darren Holden.

82:23

Attempt saved. James Constable (Oxford United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

77:46 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hartlepool United. Antony Sweeney replaces Jack Compton.

77:05 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Oxford United 1, Hartlepool United 0. David Connolly (Oxford United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by David Hunt.

76:05

Sean Rigg (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:05

Foul by Jack Compton (Hartlepool United).

74:36 Dismissal

Dismissal Second yellow card to Simon Walton (Hartlepool United).

74:33

Sean Rigg (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:33

Foul by Simon Walton (Hartlepool United).

71:05

Attempt saved. Josh Ruffels (Oxford United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

70:22

Andrew Whing (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:22

Foul by Jack Barmby (Hartlepool United).

69:13

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Darren Holden.

68:20

James Constable (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

68:20

Foul by Christian Burgess (Hartlepool United).

68:05

Attempt saved. Jack Barmby (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

65:37

Alfie Potter (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:37

Foul by Marlon Harewood (Hartlepool United).

64:48 Booking

Booking Simon Walton (Hartlepool United) is shown the yellow card.

64:42

Sean Rigg (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:42

Foul by Simon Walton (Hartlepool United).

61:17 Booking

Booking Jordan Richards (Hartlepool United) is shown the yellow card.

61:13

David Hunt (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

61:13

Foul by Jordan Richards (Hartlepool United).

58:38

Andrew Whing (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

58:38

Foul by Marlon Harewood (Hartlepool United).

57:56

Attempt missed. Andrew Whing (Oxford United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

55:53

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

54:50

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Matt Bevans.

50:54

David Hunt (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

50:54

Foul by Brad Walker (Hartlepool United).

50:34

Foul by Alfie Potter (Oxford United).

50:34

Simon Walton (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

49:51

James Constable (Oxford United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

49:51

Foul by Jack Compton (Hartlepool United).

47:59

Attempt missed. James Constable (Oxford United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

47:14

Attempt blocked. James Constable (Oxford United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

45:50

Josh Ruffels (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:50

Foul by Simon Walton (Hartlepool United).

45:00

Second Half begins Oxford United 0, Hartlepool United 0.

45:00 +2:07 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Oxford United 0, Hartlepool United 0.

45:00 +1:25

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

45:00 +0:54

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Ryan Clarke.

45:00 +0:40

Attempt saved. Jack Barmby (Hartlepool United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

40:46

Foul by James Constable (Oxford United).

40:46

Christian Burgess (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

39:51

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Andrew Whing.

39:23

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Ryan Clarke.

38:54

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Jake Wright.

38:29

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Jake Wright.

37:59

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Josh Ruffels.

36:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Oxford United. Alfie Potter replaces Ryan Williams because of an injury.

35:28

Foul by James Constable (Oxford United).

35:28

Christian Burgess (Hartlepool United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

32:22

Matt Bevans (Oxford United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

32:22

Foul by Jack Compton (Hartlepool United).

27:05

Ryan Williams (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:05

Foul by Jack Barmby (Hartlepool United).

20:20

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Simon Walton.

19:54

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Christian Burgess.

17:22

Attempt missed. Andrew Whing (Oxford United) header from very close range misses to the left.

16:50

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Scott Flinders.

16:39

Attempt saved. David Connolly (Oxford United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

14:58

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

10:28

James Constable (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:28

Foul by Sam Collins (Hartlepool United).

10:00

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

9:56

Foul by James Constable (Oxford United).

9:29

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

8:16

Corner, Hartlepool United. Conceded by Sam Long.

6:16

David Connolly (Oxford United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:16

Foul by Christian Burgess (Hartlepool United).

5:20

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Darren Holden.

4:52

Corner, Oxford United. Conceded by Darren Holden.

4:16

Matt Bevans (Oxford United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

4:16

Foul by Brad Walker (Hartlepool United).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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