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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 21 Aug 12 at 21:40 PM

Pools lost out 2-0 to Notts County on a rain-soaked Tuesday night in Nottingham.

After a below-par first-half display in which they went 1-0 down, Neale Cooper's men looked more solid after the break but the hosts always looked stronger and doubled their lead late in the game.

The conditions here at Meadow Lane were poor as rain lashed down inside the ground for the majority of the first half. 

But while Pools struggled to adapt to the conditions, Notts County seemed to enjoy them and gradually came right on top of the game. 

Cooper's men had an early flash at goal when Evan Horwood sent a good ball across field for Andy Monkhouse on the right. 

After a quick lay-off to Steve Howard, Monkhouse picked up the ball to fire in on goal from the edge of the area. 

His effort went wide and that was one of very few chances for Pools in a very disappointing first half. 

With 16 minutes of the game gone, a cross into the box from the right found Francois Zoko unmarked inside the area and he was allowed to send the ball past Scott Flinders and into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-0. 

Minutes later and Lee Hughes went close to making it 2-0; the striker was allowed to meet the ball completely unchallenged inside the area but fortunately his header was saved by Flinders. 

Pools had a couple of chances to level things; one fell to Peter Hartley who headed in from a Horwood freekick only to see the ball go wide. 

But the majority of the action was at the other end of the pitch and Scott Flinders blocked well to deny Lee Hughes who had broke in to the area to go one-on-one and the Pools keeper showed bravery to dive in and collect the rebound under pressure from Alan Judge. 

With Neale Cooper clearly disappointed at his side's opening-half performance, he will have been hoping for better in the second forty-five. 

And the Pools' boss changed things round for the second half, bringing Paul Murray into a midfield five in place of James Poole, leaving Howard to lead the line alone. 

Pools did look more solid after the break but Bartosz Bialkowski remained largely untested; Steve Howard did get a header in on goal after a good cross by Franks but his effort went wide. 

Scott Flinders had more to do, palming away a lovely effort from Judge as the hosts looked to add to their opening goal. And the Pools keeper collected comfortably as Lee Hughes again burst forward to shoot on goal. 

Notts County upped their pressure again as the final ten minutes approached, pushing Pools back once again and working the back four hard. And it was during this final ten minutes that County added their second. 

Once again the hosts were given the space at the back and the ball was played into the area for Lee Hughes who was allowed to put it into the middle for Neal Bishop. And the County skipper had the space to turn before rolling the ball home to make it 2-0 on 86 minutes. 

Full Time: Notts County 2 Pools 0

Booked: Pools - Collins (79) 

Pools: Flinders, Baldwin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Monkhouse, Walton (Luscombe 74), Sweeney, Franks (James 77), Poole (Murray 46), Howard 
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Humphreys, Holden, 

Notts County: Bialkowski, Kelly, Sheehan, Bishop, Leacock, Liddle, Judge, J Hughes, Zoko (Labadie 32), L Hughes (Waite 77), Boucard (Mahon 76)  
Subs Not Used: Mitchell, Bencherif, Wholey, Regan

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