Defeat For Pools At The Vic
It was a disappointing night at Victoria Park as Solihull Moors took all three points with a 1-0 victory.
While Antony Sweeney’s Pools side dominated much of the game, Solihull’s resolute approach after taking the lead in the second half served them well.
After a quiet start to the game, it was Pools enjoyed a spell on top, seeing plenty of the ball and doing enough to keep Ryan Boot in the visiting goal on his toes.
Ben Killip reacted well early on to a short pass back to him as he did enough to put Danny Wright off his stride as he broke through to face the keeper.
Gavan Holohan was lively for Pools and had an early chance when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box following a corner to smashed a shot through a crowded box only to see it deflect wisde off a teammate.
Holohan was involved again shortly after as he broke forward through the middle to get another shot in but this time it was easy for Boot who collected comfortably.
At the other end, Fraser Kerr got up well to head clear as Solihull sent a cross into the area.
Nicke Kabamba set Ryan Donaldson away mid-way through the half as Pools looked to make their dominance count but the skipper’s low drive went wide.
With the visitors starting to force their way into the game, they came closest to opening the scoring as Paul McCallum fired a half-volley at goal that had Killip beaten but crashed against the crossbar and away from danger.
Pools remained a threat going forward and neat play between Featherstone and Donaldson sees the latter fire another shot at goal but this time it is blocked out well by Boot.
Pools enjoyed a strong period around the half-hour mark, returning every Solihull clearance back into the box – with both Featherstone and Mafuta both at the centre of things for Sweeney’s side.
Killip pulled off a great save on 39 minutes to deny Gunning who curled a well-taken freekick at goal which looked destined for the far top corner – but Killip had other ideas and denied the goal.
As the pressure from the visitors increased towards half time, Peter Kioso put in a strong save to clear the danger late in the half, before Kabamba cleared well from a corner.
Solihull Moors came out brightly after the break and James Ball pulled Killip out of position early in the half before slotting a low shot at an empty goal. With the ball rolling towards target though, Kioso showed great pace to get back and clear the effort off the line and keep things at 0-0.
Nicke Kabamba set Holohan away running down the right but after good work getting into the box, Holohan’s final effort was easy for the keeper.
With the game flipping from end to end, it was Solihull Moors who took the advantage on 59 minutes; after first finding the woodwork with a shot from close range, Jake Beesley was more successful with his next effort.
A cross into the box was met by the Solihull forward and he got up to send a header off the inside of the post and into the back of the net.
Pools broke well on 65 minutes, with Holohan again bearing down from the right after good work from Kabamba but when the midfielder made his way into the box, his final shot found only the keeper.
And Sweeney’s side went on to up the pressure on the visiting goal, with Luke James turning to shoot just wide of goal, before Ryan Donaldson flashed a shot across the face of goal that was just inches away from Kabamba who waited in the middle.
Luke Williams tried to mark his introduction to the game in style as he picked up possession 25 yards out and went for goal with a decent strike that went just wide of the post.
Pools kept up their pressure, with further chances for Holohan and Donaldson and it was Sweeney’s side who did all of the running but the visitors proved real spoilers this evening.
Williams tried his luck again, this time looping a ball across the area that had Boot scrambling back but the visiting keeper got there to tip the ball over the bar.
But despite the pressure and possession from Pools, there was no way through and a determined and dogged Solihull Moors side held on to take all three points.
Full Time: Pools 0 Solihull Moors
Attendance: 2703 (39 Solihull Moors)
Pools: Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes, Kitching, Featherstone, Mafuta (Williams 65), Holohan, Donaldson (Muir 82), Kabamba (Hawkes 76), James.
Subs Not Used: Cunnningham, Kennedy.
Solihull Moors: Boot, Reckord, Storer, Gudger, McCallum (Neufville 89), Gunning (Hawkridge 81), Wright (Yussuf 74), Vaughan, Howe, Ball, Beesley.
Subs Not Used: Williams, Hancox.