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Match Report


Posted Tue 29 Sep 09 at 21:37 PM

Pools Fight Back For 2-2 Draw

This evening's match at Edgeley Park was one that can only be described as 'a game of two halves'.

Stockprot County dominated the opening half, taking a two-goal lead inside the first 17 minutes of play.

But while Pools may have been the underdogs in the first period, the second half was the direct opposite as Chris Turner's men piled the pressure on County drawing things level at 2-2 - Adam Boyd and Denis Behan with the goals.

Things started well for Pools this evening, they looked bright from the off and tested the hosts within the first five minutes of the game.

A ball into the box from the left found Monkhouse in space but the winger's swing at goal was wayward and the ball fell to James Brown who prodded an effort goalwards only to see it roll just wide of target.

There was a good tempo to the game for Pools as Turner's men stroked the ball forward and made Stockport County work hard.

But the hosts dealt well with this pressure and turned the game right on its head in two action-packed minutes.

The move that created the opener was started typically by Michael Rose - the man linked heavily with Pools throughout the summer.

The impressive left back put a great ball through from a central midfield position which was pushed out to David Poole on the left wing. Pools whipped a teasing ball into the box and Nicholas Bignall arrived in space to head past Scott Flinders - despite the keeper's best efforts, the ball hit the net.

And no sooner had the match announcer finished broadcasting details of the first goal than the ball was in the back of the net again.

Another ball in from the left wing found Stockport skipper Michael Raynes rising well in the box and the big defender out-jumped Sam Collins to nod home past Flinders giving Ablett's men a 2-0 lead with just 17 minutes on the clock.

Pools now had it all to do in this game, but plenty of time in which to do it and a good reaction was needed.

And Turner's men did come desperately close to grabbing a goal back; a great ball in from Peter Hartley on the left was met with a well-placed header from Monkhouse but, with the winger about to set off to celebrate, Owain Fon Williams showed why he is so highly rated as he got right down into the bottom right corner of goal to block the effort onto the post and out of play.

But for all of Pools' effort, it was the hosts who looked the more likely adding to the scoreline - County used their width well and hit a succession of testing balls into Flinders' box.

The lively Greg Tansey lifted a great ball in from the right which was cleared impressively by Sweeney who managed to get a powerful header away from an awkward angle.

Sam Collins showed bravery to dive low and head away a dangerous freekick from Michael Rose, while Gary Liddle had to be alert in the final minutes of the first half to help out after a Hartley error as Bignall was allowed space in the box - fortunately the Stockport man went for the fancy shot and Liddle was able to intercept and kick clear.

The half time break arrived at just the right time for Pools as Stockport were looking increasingly dangerous as the whistle approached - Chris Turner needed time to re-group his men and his team talk took effect early on.

Pools came out fighting after the break and were rewarded with a goal back after just 6 minutes of the second half.

Good, determined play by Denis Behan set the ball through for strike partner Boyd and, with just the keeper to beat, he was never going to miss as he fired home into the top of the net giving Pools a lifeline back into the game.

And Pools began to give the hosts a taste of their own medicine, winning every ball in midfield and getting the crosses into the box.

Neil Austin lifted a great ball in from the right which forced the corner kick as Paul Huntington headed over, while Adam Boyd again went close to hitting home with a shot squeezed in from a narrow angle across the face of goal - although his effort was deflected wide of target, the official awarded the goal kick and play continued.

Pools continued to press the hosts in a half which proved an almost mirror image of the first period, with Monkhouse enjoying more possession down the left wing and Boyd making the running up front.

Denis Behan tried his luck with a thunderbolt freekick from almost forty yards. While the goal looked unlikely to most, the Irish striker stepped up to fire it at goal but a slight deflection saw it sway just wide of Fon Williams' post - again the official failed to award the corner kick, much to the fury of Behan.

Pools went close again with a close range effort from Brown after a ball in from Monkhouse but the ball was cleared off the line by Rose.

The equaliser, which was thoroughly deserved after a great second half from Pools, arrived in the 75 minute. A well-placed freekick from Humphreys on the right was headed into the thick of the action by James Brown where Denis Behan was waiting to poke past Fon Williams and square things up in this game of two very different halves.

The equaliser seemed to spark the hosts back into life and they began to enjoy some possession, with more urgency to their game.

There were chances at both ends to take the three points - Flinders was brave in the challenge to snatch the ball from Poole when through on goal, while a Humphreys freekick created pressure for Pools but there was to be no winner this evening as the teams shared the spoils.

A good comeback from Pools and an encouraging second half display to take into Saturday's game at Exeter.

Att: 3780 (196 Pools)

Pools: Flinders, Austin, Liddle, Collins, Hartley, Brown (Larkin 81), Sweeney, Humphreys, Monkhouse, Behan (Bjornsson 83), Boyd
Subs Not Used: Cook, McSweeney, Rowell, Haslam, Fredriksen, Bjornsson

Stockport County: Fon Williams, Mullins, Rose, Bridcutt, Raynes, Vincent (Thompson 79), Baker, Poole, Bignall, Huntington
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Thompson, Griffin, Gerrard, Pilkington, Halls, Havern

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