Hartlepool 1-3 Oxford Utd

Deane Smalley

Oxford United bounced back from their first league defeat of the season to beat Hartlepool and move up to second place in the League Two table.

The U's, who lost at home to leaders Chesterfield last week, led when Ryan Williams curled home a 16-yard shot.

Pools levelled when Luke James slotted the ball in from close range.

But Deane Smalley's counter-attack goal restored Oxford's lead and Asa Hall's penalty sealed victory against Pools, who had Steve Howard sent off late on.

Towering striker Howard saw red for a foul on Jonny Mullins, but the game was already lost by then.

Smalley's fine low finish came with 23 minutes left, just after the hosts had their best spell of the match.

And Hall's spot-kick, awarded for a trip on Scott Davies by home keeper Scott Flinders, ensured a fourth away win of the season for Chris Wilder's side.

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