In-form Pools brush aside Exiles
In-form Hartlepool made it three wins from five games as they brushed aside Newport in a comfortable 3-0 win.
Pools moved to the edge of the play-off zone and leapfrogging the Exiles, now winless in six, with an energetic display.
Christian Burgess stood out throughout the game, and he was first to try his luck. The centre-back ghosted forward in possession and fired a shot over the bar from 20 yards.
County went close in the 37th minute when a cutback from Lee Minshull fed Ryan Burge. His shot was goalbound, but blocked on its way by covering defender Sam Collins.
But Pools took the lead four minutes later. Simon Walton chased a loose cross and turned the ball back into the area for Luke James. Pools' top scorer turned and fired low under debutant goalkeeper Elliott Parrish from 16 yards for his 11th of the season.
Right on half time only a fine covering tackle by Burgess prevented Adam Chapman from levelling when he was presented with a clear opening.
In a tame second half, Pools went two up in farcial circumstances in the 55th minute. Harry Worley and Minshull went for the same ball, but headed it against Andy Sandell, who knew little of the ball going in off his head.
And Pools wrapped it up in injury time when Luke Williams crisply finished from 12 yards.