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Match Report

 

Posted Tue 15 Mar 16 at 21:40 PM

Match Report

At times they had to battle and they also had chances to score, in the end Pools had to settle for a point that took them eight points clear of York at Rodney Parade.

A promising start from Pools saw them dominate the early exchanges on a difficult, sandy pitch.

Lewis Hawkins showed up well but couldn’t quite get the final telling touch that would have made a difference and Jake Carroll was inches away from connecting with a knock-down from Adam Jackson.

Jackson for Rob Jones was the only change from the side that beat Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday and he was grateful that Alex Rodman shanked a clear chance for Newport on a rare foray into Pools territory, the midfielder misconnecting with a chance 16 yards out in front of goal.

Hawkins tested Joe Day with a low shot from 22 yards, the goalkeeper dealing well with a shot that bounced just in front of him on an unpredictable surface.

When Andrew Hughes crossed deep from the left there looked little danger. But Trevor Carson lost his footing and the ball dipped just over the bar.

That seemed to galvanise the home side who began to see more of the ball and it took smart goalkeeping from Carson to thwart Scott Boden, Jackson flung himself in front of a shot from Hughes to divert it for a corner and Dean Morgan wasn’t too far off target from the edge of the box.

Breaking free from the shackles Pools shot forward, Hawkins cut into the box along the goalline but couldn’t quite keep control long enough to play a telling pass.

Another quick move, this from the right, had County stretched as Jake Gray was picked out inside the box, but his shot was deflected for a corner in the closing stages of a half where possession was pretty even.

As they had in the first half so Pools went for it at the start of the second, though a difficult chance for Billy Paynter was all they had to show for their early endeavours.

A lofted ball from Carson was picked out the air well by Gray close to the edge of the penalty area. A darting run created a small opening, but a low shot was fired into the side netting.

It didn’t take long for County to settle and hit back and cause problems with two free-kicks whipped in from the right.

Carroll was lucky not to be shown a card when he appeared to push Boden to the ground as he ran past the County man who was preparing to take a throw. The first yellow wasn’t far away and was shown to Nicky Featherstone for a trip on Mark Byrne.

A fortunate deflection left Paynter with a sharp chance inside the County box, though all he could manage was an attempted chip which proved comfortable for Day.

County manager Warren Feeney had played all his cards by the time Craig Hignett made his first change as Nathan Thomas was replaced by Rhys Oates.

It was the home side, though, who very nearly made the breakthrough as Medy Elito fired in a cracking shot from 25 yards and Carson produced an excellent save away to his right.

It took another acrobatic save from the Pools goalkeeper with 12 minutes remaining as Jake Gosling despatched a curling free-kick goalwards from 20 yards.

As the temperature dropped and 70 Pools fans thought about making the long way home, Gray shot low on an angle from inside the County penalty area, but Day dived away to his right to gather.

It was a night where there was to be no breakthrough.

Full Time: Newport County 0 Pools 0

Newport County: Day; Holmes, Jones, Elito, Donacien, Hughes (Barrow 52), Morgan (Wilkinson 67), Boden, Rodman, O’Sullivan (Gosling 46), Byrne (Capt.).
Subs not used: Green (gk); Klukowski, Owen-Evans, Partridge.

Pools: Carson; Magnay, Jackson, Bates, Carroll, James, Hawkins, Gray, Featherstone, Thomas (Oates 70), Paynter (Capt.).
Subs not used: Bartlett (gk); Walker, Bingham, Woods, Richards, Laurent.

Referee: Simon Hooper

Bookings
County: None
Pools: Featherstone 59, foul; Jackson 77, foul.

Attendance: 2,394 (70 Pools)

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