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Match Report


Posted Sat 28 Feb 15 at 17:09 PM

Bird Strike Has Pools Singing

Pools picked up an important three points with a 1-0 victory over AFC Wimbledon at The Vic this afternoon. 

An improved second-half display from Ronnie Moore's side saw Ryan Bird score on his debut for the Club with a strike that proved the difference on the day. 

The first half was fairly open, with both defences facing pressure in spells but neither side finding enough to open the scoring. 

The first shot of the game came on 13 minutes after Adebayo Akinfenwa fed the ball neatly through for Jake 
Reeves whose first shot on goal was blocked by a combination of Craig Tanner and Scott Harrison before Scott Flinders scrambled to clear the danger. 

The shot spared the start of a decent spell of the visitors with Pools facing three quick corners to defend; Callum Kennedy shot wide from the first but the third caused most problems as the ball came in from the right to find Adedeji Oshilaja who sent a powerful header at goal. His effort crashed against the bar before Flinders collected the follow-up. 

David Mirfin received the biggest cheer of the first half after picking up possession to the left of the box and nutmegging his man before sending the ball in the box. 

Akinfenwa tried his luck with a volley from distance which was dipping towards the far post and looked to have Flinders worried but fortunately the ball went just wide of target. 

Pools were having their own spells of pressure, with Connor Smith’s enthusiasm providing an outlet for almost every attack. The young striker chased every ball and proved a real handful for the visiting defence. 

And Smith’s determination almost paid off when he caused James Shea and Oshilaja to collide and, with the keeper stranded, the Pools forward tried to sneak the ball home from a tight angle only to be denied by David Winfield who sent it out for a corner. 

Michael Duckworth was next to get involved, sending a half volley high up into the air, forcing Shea to punch it under the bar under pressure from Ryan Bird. 

At the other end, Mirfin put in a brilliant block to deny Alfie Potter before Tanner sent the rebound wide of target. 

The teams went in at 0-0 at half time, with both sides having done just enough to test the opposition keeper but there was a lot more work to be done after the break if Pools were to get something from this game. 

It was Wimbledon who started the second half brightest but things soon settled back down and Pools started to see more of the ball. 

With just under an hour gone, Michael Woods chased after a ball down the left channel which saw him win a corner after a seemingly innocent challenge from David Winfield. 

But it quickly became apparent that Woods had been badly injured; the midfielder was quick to call for the Physio, with a doctor and stretcher following soon after. And after five minutes of pitchside treatment, Woods was stretchered off and into a waiting ambulance, leaving his teammates to try and pick themselves back up after the incident. 

Pools reacted positively and went close from the corner, David MIrfin firing just over the bar with a decent effort. 

A Jack Compton freekick picked out Aaron Tshibola in the middle and he fired on goal with a rising effort which went just over the bar. 

And on 73 minutes, Pools got the reward that their improved second-half display deserved; a great ball by Connor Smith into the feet of Jack Compton sent the winger powering forward. Compton did well to push deep into the box before squaring into the path of 
the arriving Ryan Bird and he forced it over the line from close range to make it 1-0. 

Moore’s side had some defending to do following the goal as Wimbledon upped their pressure for a spell but Mirfin and Harrison set a solid example which was matched by their teammates Pools were back on the attack. 

Jack Compton picked up the ball on the byline to run in from the left and shoot on goal but the winger was denied by Shea with a good save. 

Sammy Moore tried a low drive from the edge of the box as the visitors pushed for an equaliser but his effort went wide of Flinders’ right-hand post. 

With the injury to Woods causing a long delay in the game, we were expecting plenty of added time at the end of the game but the 12 minutes shown was a surprise. 

And there were some tense moments for Pools in the closing minutes as Wimbledon continued to plug away late into the game but by the end of the 12 minutes, it was Moore's side who were holding on the ball - cheered on impressively by the home fans. 

The final whistle finally came and Pools were able to celebrate a big three points. The team now sit six points adrift at the bottom of League Two, with a Tuesday night trip to Dagenham & Redbridge to come. 

Full Time: Pools 1 AFC Wimbledon 0 

Attendance: 3345 (203 AFC Wimbledon) 

Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Harrison, Mirfin, Austin, Franks (J Jones 77), Tshibola, Woods (Featherstone 62), Compton, Smith, Bird. 
Subs Not Used: Maxted, D Jones, Walker,Harewood, Morgan. 

AFC Wimbledon: Shea, Fuller, Kennedy, Bulman, Winfield, Oshilaja, Potter (Azeez 72), Reeves, Akinfenwa, Tanner (Connolly 84), Rigg (Moore 71). 
Subs Not Used: McDonnell, Smith , Phillips, Beere. 

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