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Match Report


Posted Sat 22 Aug 09 at 16:55 PM

Brown Seals All Three Points For Pools

Pools picked up their first win of the new League One campaign as a moment of magic from James Brown sealed a 1-0 win over Gillingham.

A solid and professional team performance ensured Chris Turner's men maintained their recent run of away form and picked up three big points from this entertaining game.

The first half at The Priestfield Stadium was a fast-paced affair as both teams anjoyed their fair share of pressure.

The first chance on goal fell to the hosts - a neat interchange between Jack Payne and Simeon Jackson saw the latter power a ball goalwards only to see his effort go both high and wide of target.

But for all Gillingham had to offer going forward, Pools proved a match and looked both confident and assured in defence. Scott Flinders in the Pools goal provided a dominant force at the back - his own confidence inspiring the players in front of him.

And Chris Turner's men were playing some good football going forward - Denis Behan again proving something of a thorn in the Gillingham side with his constant endeavour and persistence.

Gillingham's main problems though were self-inflicted - with the hosts hitting short or mis-placed passes throughout the first half, making play harder for themselves and giving Pools openings to exploit.

Gary Liddle came closest to opening the scoring mid-way through the first half when he met a Leon McSweeney corner kick with a neat header but his effort was just too high.

Peter Hartley tried his luck from twenty yards but his powerful strike was comfortably help by Alan Julian in the Gills goal.

Pools were frustrating the hosts, pegging them back for periods of the game and the home fans were to quick to vent their frustration.

The best chance of the half came late into the forty-five and it fell to the lievly James Brown; a well-placed free kick into the area from Fredriksen arrived nicely for Brown who threw himself at the effort, only to see the ball creep just over the bar.

Although goalless at half time, Pools had done more than enough in the first half to leave the travelling fans happiest going into the break.

Sam Collins came to the rescue for Turner's side early in the second half; Simeon Jackson just beat the offside trap to nip in on goal. Jackson lifted the ball over the on-rushing Flinders but with the goal in sight for the busy striker, Collins got back quickly to intercept the ball and put it out for a corner kick.

Pools had a good chance at the other end when McSweeney lifted in a ball from the right wing that arrived on the head of Behan but the big striker's effort found only the arms of sub keeper Simon Royce.

And just as the hosts looked to be taking a slight hold in the game, up stepped James Brown with a magical move to open the scoring for Pools.

A brilliant touch on from Denis Behan set the tricky striker up - what followed left everyone in the ground in amazement aas Brown jinked one way before moving the other and unleashing an unstoppable effort past Royce which crashed against the underside of the bar before hitting the net.

A great move from the striker gave Pools the lead in a League One clash for the first time this season and gave the team the boost they needed to up their game.

Pools came desperately close to making it 2-0; a great crossfield ball from McSweeney picked out Andy Monkhouse running in from the left and the former Swindon Town man pushed into the area to send a low effort heading for the far post. A slight touch from the keeper though denied Monkhouse his goal as the ball scraped just wide of target.

Brown almost set up his own second goal just minutes later when he twisted and turned his way in the area, moving past the Gillingham defence as if they were not there before firing in on goal - his effort went just wide of the near post but Pools were now looking a threat with every attack.

There were some tense moments in the dying minutes - sub Mark McCammon causing problems with his aerial presence but Flinders showed good handling to deny the hosts and Pools held on.

And so Pools were justly rewarded for a hard-working display with their first three points of the new campaign.

A James Brown moment of magic may have sealed the win but Turner will be pleased with his team's all-round display this afternoon which saw Pools recent run of away form continue.

Att: 4969 (151 Pools)

Pools: Flinders, Haslam, Collins, Liddle, Hartley, McSweeney, Sweeney, Fredriksen (Jones 57), Monkhouse, Brown (Austin 85), Behan (Boyd 73)
Subs: Cook, Rowell, Power, Greulich

Gillingham FC: Julian (Royce 46), Fuller, Nutter, Richards, Bentley (McCammon 77), Jackson, Barcham, Miller (Oli 59), Gowling, Weston, Payne
Subs: Maher, Palmer, Wynter, Erskine

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