Impressive Pools Denied By Magpies
Match ReportPools were forced to settle for a point at Meadow Lane as Notts County hit back from two goals down to claim a share of the spoils from an entertaining encounter at Meadow Lane.
Gavan Holohan handed Pools the perfect start when his low drive found the corner of the net and there was further joy five minutes before half-time when Luke James drilled a second goal.
However, the hosts pulled one back through Wes Thomas just before the break and he grabbed another in the second half to rescue a point for The Magpies.
Sweeney opted to name an unchanged starting eleven to that which began in the win over Barnet seven days previously, though Luke Williams was back on the bench in place of Gime Toure who missed out after surgery on his hand.
The home side began the game with real tempo and Pools were forced to defend with determination in the opening couple of minutes before settling in to proceedings.
Sweeney’s men quickly emerged as a threat, especially down the right hand side where the positive running of Ryan Donaldson and Peter Kioso was causing the hosts a problem.
On seven minutes Pools built on their early promise with the opening goal when the ball was worked nicely across from the left and fell to Holohan on the edge of the dee where he met it with a crisp drive which fizzed in to the bottom right-and corner of the net.
Luke James had the next chance on 17 minutes when he brought the ball down on his chest on the left before trying to catch Sam Slocombe out with an early shot which flew just wide.
The Magpies had little answer to Pools’ discipline out of possession and their danger on the break; Nicke Kabamba came close to making it 2-0 when he met Kioso’s cross from the right but directed it too high.
Five minutes before the break the second goal did arrive though. James turned brilliantly inside from the right away from centre-back Connell Rawlinson before playing a one-two with Nicky Featherstone. The front
man drove in to the box, chopped back cleverly on his right foot and then rifled a clinical finish across Slocombe for 2-0.
Immediately, Pools could have made it three. Holohan drove forward through the middle as County rocked on to the ropes again and he fed Kabamba but the striker was forced wide and the chance evaporated.
Sixty seconds later and there was a lifeline for the home team as a ball was played down the left and Wes Thomas chased after it and prodded it beyond Ben Killip as he raced from his line and it trickled agonisingly in
to the net.
County came out firing at the start of the second period but it was Pools who almost went 3-1 up on 57 minutes when a lovely dummy from Donaldson set Kioso away marauding up the right but his powerful shot was tipped
round the near post by Slocombe.
On the hour it was level. A sweeping move from Notts down the left saw half time substitute Regan Booty whip a cross in to the front post where Thomas reacted quickest to nod past Killip for 2-2.
After that the crowd really got behind the home side but Pools remained stubborn in defence and there weren’t too many occasions when Killip was tested.
Mitch Rose saw his effort deflected over by some good defending from Michael Raynes, while Fraser Kerr had a chance at the other end but nodded just wide from ten yards.
Pools tightened things up and saw the game out though and a point at Meadow Lane was greeted by a great ovation from the near-800 travelling support at the final whistle.
Full Time: Notts County 2 Pools 2
Notts County: Slocombe, McCrory, Rose, Turner, Thomas (Dennis 87), Doyle, Boldewijn, Rawlinson, Wootton, Brindley, Shields (Booty 46).
Subs not used: Tyson, Bakayogo, Osborne.
Booked: Rose, Boldewijn.
Pools: Killip, Kioso, Raynes, Kerr, Kitching, Mafuta, Featherstone, Holohan (Williams 88), Donaldson (Kennedy 81), James (Muir 72), Kabamba.
Subs not used: Cunningham, Hawkes.
Booked: Kerr, Raynes, Kabamba.
Attendance: 5,258 (769 Pools)