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Match Report


Posted Sat 29 Aug 09 at 16:50 PM

Defeat For Pools At The Vic

Pools lost out 2-0 to Norwich City this afternoon in a disappointing match at The Vic.

Goals from Michael Nelson and Stephen Hughes proved the difference between the two teams in a game that provided little entertainment.

Pools went behind in the first half to a goal from former Club man Michael Nelson - in a script that could well have been written before the game.

It was the visitors who perhaps edged the opening exchanges, looking dangerous on the break - the front pairing of Jamie Cureton and Grant Holt proving a menace for Pools on occasion.

There were no real chances on goal for either team in the opening ten minutes - while Pools could not break past the half way line, Norwich found the home defence in defiant mood.

Colin Larkin was busy for Pools working away trying to create openings, while Andy Monkhouse was in fiery mood on the left wing.

Leon McSweeney conceded a debatable freekick on the left side of the field, allowing the ball to be whipped deep into the area - fortunately Holt's headed effort was dealt with comfortably by Scott Flinders.

Denis Behan tried his luck from the edge of the box at the other end but his left-footed strike bounced through to Fraser Forster who collected down to his right.

Holt and Cureton combined well in the box for Norwich to set up Korey Smith with a great chance on goal but Sam Collins put in a last-gasp challenge which did enough to put him off and Smith dragged his shot wide of the post.

And then the visitors grabbed that opening goal with 27 minutes on the clock; Paul McVeigh skipped past Ritchie Jones on the right wing to fire in on goal - his effort was parried by Flinders but the loose ball fell kindly for Nelson who executed the perfect overhead kick which sent the ball past the Pools' stopper to give The Canaries the lead.

Holt had another good chance on goal when he picked up possession in the centre of the area but this time the striker's first touch let him down and the danger was cleared.

The game went a little flat after the goal was scored and Pools failed to really push the visitors - a sense of real urgency lacking in this first half.

A ball in from Andy Monkhouse from just inside the box caused most trouble - but Fraser Forster showed bravery as he threw himself at the feet of Larkin and the ball was cleared out.

And so Pools went in one down at the break with Norwich having edged the first half in terms of both goals and chances created.

The second half started in much the same way as Paul Lambert's men came out brightly - Gary Liddle did well to snatch possession from Holt in an aerial battle inside the box, while Sam Collins also came out on top with a testing high ball into the Pools box.

The lively play though did not last long as the game once again went a little flat.

But again it was the visitors who upped the ante and their lead in the game - a very well-worked counter attack saw Norwich flood forward in numbers, leaving Pools in their wake.

The move came to a head with Jamie Cureton pushing through for Stephen Hughes and he made no mistake as he swept home past Flinders and into the bottom right corner of the net.

With around 70 minutes on the clock, Pools had still failed to really test Forster in the Norwich goal - after the impressive performance from Tuesday night against Burnley, this afternoon's display proved a frustrating one.

James Brown came close to gettign a goal back for Pools with 15 minutes left on the clock - Forster did well to block the initial shot from Antony Sweeney from close range but the ball fell loose to Brown who turned well to first in on goal - his effort unfortunately went wide of target.

And as the game neared its end, Turner's men began to look a little more lively.

James Brown gave Michael Nelson a good battle but it was just not going for Pools this afternoon as Norwich remained one step ahead.

Another disappointing home result for Pools who have yet to pick up a point in three attempts so far this term.

Turner's men now face a welcome break from midweek fixtures - Oldham Athletic on Friday night is the next outing for Pools when they will be looking to continue their strong away from.

Att: 4470 (832 Norwich City)

Pools: Flinders, Haslam, Collins, Liddle, Hartley, McSweeney (Boyd 71), Sweeney, Jones (Fredriksen 78), Monkhouse, Behan, Larkin (Brown 59)
Subs Not Used: Cook, Austin, Clark, Greulich

Norwich City: Forster, Otsemobor, Drury, Nelson, Hughes, Holt, Cureton (Daley 78), McVeigh (Adeyemi 71), Lappin, Smith (McDonald 90), Berthel-Askou
Subs Not Used: Rudd, Whaley, Martin, Stephens

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