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Rhys Oates sparks Hartlepool rout of Stockport

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Rhys Oates fired Hartlepool ahead after only six minutes (PA Archive)

Hartlepool upset the form book to thrash nine-man Stockport 4-0 and move up to fifth in the Vanarama National League.

Pools had won just twice in their previous 11 competitive games while Stockport had won six in seven, but it was Dave Challinor’s men who emphatically claimed the spoils at Victoria Park.

It took Hartlepool just six minutes to go ahead as Rhys Oates powered forward before drilling past Ben Hinchliffe, and the home side’s hand was further strengthened when Stockport saw Ash Palmer sent off not long after.

The defender was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Luke Armstrong, and County’s hopes of climbing into the top four were looking bleak with barely 15 minutes gone.

County managed to prevent Pools from increasing their lead before the break, but it was a different story immediately after the restart as the hosts struck twice in five minutes.

Ryan Johnson turned home from a corner before Armstrong latched onto a loose ball to make it 3-0.

Stockport were reduced to nine men in the 55th minute when leading scorer John Rooney was dismissed for dissent, and their misery was complete in stoppage time when Armstrong added a fourth goal.

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