Rodney only scored four goals in 18 months while at Hartlepool, but now has six in 10 games as his remarkable run for The Shaymen goes on.But goals in each half from Luke James and Lee Molyneux saw the hosts move above Halifax in the table.Town played their part in a very watchable first-half before the match descended into a scrappy, messy affair after the restart.Nicke Kabamba should have handed Hartlepool a third-minute lead but he headed Gavan Holohan’s cross over at the near post when it looked easier to score.Manny Duku then pounced on hesitancy in the Hartlepool defence and let fly from the corner of the penalty area, only missing the far post by inches.The hosts replied when James cut in from the left and fired narrowly over from the edge of the box.A Hartlepool header then fell to Cameron King, but he scuffed a left-footed shot harmlessly wide from 20 yards.But King was far more composed shortly afterwards when he calmly found Rodney on the edge of the area having regained possession after a sloppy pass, and the Town loanee did the rest, slotting home with deadly precision.King nearly doubled Town’s lead after Rodney’s shot was deflected behind for a corner, but his effort flew across goal and wide.A magnificent cross by Josh Staunton then found Duku completely free at the far post, but the bounce worked against him and he headed over the bar.Hartlepool had started brightly, but they struggled to respond after falling behind, although Sam Johnson produced an outstanding save to tip over Holohan’s shot from 12 yards that seemed destined for the net.An excellent turn into space by the impressive Molyneux then allowed him to burst forward before Johnson tipped over his long-range strike.The Town keeper was helpless though when James got a toe to Molyneux’s curling cross from the right, and the ball nestled into the far corner.Matty Kosylo and Ryan Donaldson both had efforts on target as half-time approached, before right-back Peter Kioso slashed wastefully wide from close range at an angle after Molyneux’s lay-off.It hadn’t quite been Man City v Spurs but both sides had played some good football and created some decent chances in an open game.Molyneux and James provided mobility and trickery on the flanks for the hosts, but Rodney had been his usual effective presence from the right for Town while King was again relishing his role in behind the Town loanees up-front, looking sharp and getting into good areas.A more sedate second-half began when Ryan Donaldson headed over James’ cross.A few minutes later, a sloppy pass by James Berrett was eventually punished when Hartlepool broke upfield and Holohan slipped in Molyneux, who lifted the ball over Johnson from near the penalty spot.Town were sloppy in general after that, seeing plenty of the ball but misplacing too many passes and dropping in intensity.The quality of the game had deteriorated, with individual mistakes littering the play and both sides more disjointed.A burst forward by substitute Ryan Gondoh earned Town a free-kick, but Kosylo’s effort was deflected over, and from the resulting corner, Matty Brown headed wide.Both sides had come off the pace, so if Town, who enjoyed much more possession, could crank it up again, then a third consecutive 2-2 draw was possible.But Pools keeper Scott Loach remained untested as time ran out.
Hartlepool: Loach, Kioso, Kerr, Edgar, Anderson, Featherstone, Donaldson, Holohan (Noble 75), Molyneux (Bale 90), James, Kabamba. Subs not used: Catterick, Amos, Muir.
Scorers: James (32), Molyneux (53)Shots on target: 5Shots off target: 6Corners: 2
Halifax: Johnson, Hanson (Freedman 72), Clarke, Brown, Skarz, Staunton, Berrett, Kosylo, King, Rodney, Duku (Gondoh 65). Subs not used: Rowley, Preston, Quigley.
Scorer: Rodney (14)Shots on target: 2Shots off target: 11Corners: 4
Attendance: 3,018 (178 away)Referee: Simeon LucasTown man of the match: Cameron King