Fleetwood Town 0-1 Hartlepool UnitedFleetwood Town bowed out of the Capital One Cup at the first round stage this evening as Billy Paynter's second half goal won the game for Hartlepool.
Paynter put Pools ahead just shy of the hour mark when he powerfully headed home a free kick from the right.
Graham Alexander made two changes to the side that drew at home to Southend United on the opening day of the Sky Bet League One campaign last weekend.
Lyle Della-Verde was handed his first competitive start for the Cod Army as he replaced Bobby Grant, while Jamille Matt made way for Jamie Proctor up front.
Declan McManus had the game’s first chance when he rounded the keeper and crossed the ball towards Amari’i Bell at the back post, who failed to connect with the header.
Antoni Sarcevic later went close as he burst down the right and fired an effort just wide of Adam Bartlett’s far corner.
Proctor then missed a guilt-edged opportunity for Town as he nodded Conor McLaughlin’s pin-point cross wide of the goal from six yards out.
Pools’ best chance of the early stages came when the ball dropped to Nicky Featherstone at the back post, who forced Chris Maxwell into a smart reaction stop.
The visitors went close again as Jack Carroll blasted a 20 yard free kick over the bar, and Rakish Bingham fired wide after being played in on goal.
Bell and Jimmy Ryan combined well down the right for the Cod Army, with the former attacking the left purposefully and delivering an inviting cross.
Town started the second half brightly, and Pools keeper Bartlett had to be alert to keep out Proctor’s driven ball across the box.
McManus went close to opening the scoring as he met Sarcevic’s corner from the left, but skimmed his header wide of the target.
At the other end, Scott Fenwick beat Eggert Jonsson on the byline and forced Maxwell to tip his effort over the bar.
Paynter gave the North East outfit the lead when he directed a header beyond Maxwell from close range on 58 minutes.
It could have got even better for Ronnie Moore’s side moments later but Town’s Welsh shot stopper kept out Fenwick in a one-on-one situation.
As Town searched for an equaliser, Alexander introduced Grant and David Ball to boost his attacking options.
McManus, fresh from netting on his debut on Saturday, let fly from distance on 70 minutes but shot well wide of Bartlett’s goal.
The Cod Army continued to pressure the Pools' backline, and Ball was denied by Bartlett on two occasions.
Michael Woods should have put the game beyond doubt for the visitors with five minutes remaining, but blazed over from inside the area.
In added time, Grant rattled the crossbar with a free kick from just outside the box.