Pools lost out 2-1 to Wycombe Wanderers at The Vic this afternoon in a game that saw James Poole hit the first league goal of the campaign.
Pools fell behind to a second-half Wycombe Wanderers strike and once again failed to recover from the blow.
Colin Cooper’s side had dominated the first half, playing some lovely football and creating plenty of openings from out wide without hitting target. But the introduction of Max Kretzschmar at half time changed things for the visitors as he went on to grab two goals. James Pools grabbed a late consolation - Pools' first League goal of the season - on 92 minutes but it was too little, too late.
The afternoon did not get off to the best start for Pools as Brad Walker limped off after just five minutes of the game; the youngster had to be helped down the tunnel after picking up an ankle injury and he was replaced by Simon Walton in the centre of midfield.
After an even opening to the game, it was Cooper’s men who were first to try their luck on goal. Good work by Jonathan Franks saw the winger push his way into the box where he crossed to the far post. Luke James headed the ball back across goal and Andy Monkhouse sent a shot at goal, which went just wide of target.
And from then on in, it was Pools who largely dominated; both wingers provided a regular threat for the front two, while both James and Monkhouse continued their lively form from Tuesday night.
Pools enjoyed a really strong spell of pressure where it looked like a goal was imminent, with the ball spending most of the time well inside the final third.
A Jack Compton corner from the right was again sent back across by Monkhouse where Christian Burgess looked to have headed home the opener – only to see his effort cleared off the line with a last-gasp block.
Wycombe did have a chance on goal, enjoying some pressure towards the end of the first half; a great run and cross from Sam Wood down the left sailed desperately past the face of Flinders’ goal – somehow escaping the attentions of Steven Craig on its way.
The first half finished in more frantic fashion, with end-to-end chances but neither side could find the back of the net and the teams went in at 0-0.
It was the visitors who came out better in the second half, pushing Pools back and making Cooper’s men work harder than they had throughout the entire first period.
And just five minutes into the second half, Wycombe managed what Pools had yet to do when they used their pressure to find a goal.
Sub Max Kretzschmar sent a lovely effort from 20 yards past Flinders and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Gareth Ainsworth’s side.
Once again Pools struggled after losing the first goal in the game and they stopped doing the things that had seen them on top in the first period as things started to fall the way of the visitors.
Scott Flinders had to pull off a great save to claw a Stuart Lewis strike round the post as Wycombe looked the make things worse for Pools.
Just moments later though and things were worse; Wycombe picked up a loose Matty Dolan ball to burst forward from inside their own half with ease before Kretzschmar again finished past Flinders to make it 2-0.
With Pools failing to use their width as well in this second half, there was less for James and Monkhouse to work with and, as such, less to test Matt Ingram in the visiting goal.
A Dolan freekick which beat the wall only to dip just right of Ingram’s post on 82 minutes was Pools’ first real shot on goal after the break.
While there had been none before this point, there were some to follow as Monkhouse scuffed a shot wide when through on goal before James Poole pounced to make it 2-1 on 92 minutes with a close-range header.
The goal came too late to be anything other than a consolation but the lack of a League goal, which was weighing heavy on Pools, has now at least been found.
Full Time: Pools 1 Wycombe Wanderers 2
Att: 3640 (120 Wycombe)
Booked: Baldwin (59), Poole (75), Dolan (78)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Franks (Poole 63), Walker (Walton 6), Dolan, Compton (Howard 79), James, Monkhouse
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Collins, Richards, Howard, Rodney
Wycombe Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Johnson, Lewis, Wood, Hause, Craig (Stewart 85), Arnold (Kretzschmar 46), Knott, McClure (Kuffour 75), Doherty
Subs Not Used: Harrison, Spring, Fletcher