Keena Strikes Late As Pools Win At Solihull
Supersub Aidan Keena’s second goal in a Hartlepool United shirt snatched his team an 86th-minute winner at play-off rivals Solihull Moors.
With a closely-contested battle appearing destined to end goalless, Pools broke quickly with Macauley Southam-Hales delivering a perfect cross from the right which Keena fired home.
The first away win since the end of November moved Pools up to eighth, level on 54 points with Solihull and Notts County. Unchanged Pools, buoyed by a fine point at Boreham Wood, looked slick going forward with the pick of the play and chances coming from the men in green.
Toure had the first shot of the night in the eighth minute but it was straight at Boot in the Moors goal. There was a cracking chance for Pools six minutes later but Harker volleyed wide from Molyneux’s inviting low right-wing cross.
It was all Pools at this stage with Shelton and Molyneux combining beautifully down the right only for Boot to come out smarty to snuff out the danger before Harker headed over from a Toure cross.
Pools appealed for a penalty in the 27th minute after Southam-Hales went down in the box at a corner, but there looked little inn it. Given the control exercised by the visitors, Ben Killip had to show his alertness seconds later when he came off his line smartly to rescue Pools by denying Jake Beesley who threatened an opener.
Pools were soon back on the attack when a rapid run down the right by Southam-Hales set up Harker who headed weakly at Boot.
Southam-Hales was soon in action in his own box, blocking a Nick Clayton-Phillips shot after Moors had attacked quickly.
Pools began the second half strongly with Southam-Hales having a shot blocked not long after a crisp low Kitching shot was blocked.
There was a double escape for Pools on 63 minutes, when Beesley’s grass-cutter hit the inside of Killip’s right post. With the keeper prone on the deck, Terry Hawkridge put the rebound into the side-netting with the goal at his mercy.
Challinor made his first change midway through the half, bringing on Josh Hawkes for Harker.
There was a sight of goal for Toure on 74 minutes but he put his shot wide from Donaldson’s cross. The Frenchman soon departed with Keena taking his place.
Moors were frustrated when Hawkridge made a dart down the right and put in a terrific cross but no one was in the box.
Solihull went close again when a Jimmy Ball shot from the edge of the box brought a fine diving save from Killip while from the resulting corner, the home delivery went right across the face of the Pools goal.
With time ticking, it seemed the two promotion chasers would have to share the spoils until Keena made his dramatic late intervention.
Full Time: Solihull Moors 0 Pools 1
Solihull Moors: Boot; Gudger, Bajrami, Howe; Williams, Storer, Hawkridge (Wright 88), Ball, Hancox (Reckford 81); Beesley, Clayton-Phillips (Carter 60).
Subs not used: Carline, BlissettBooked: Hancox 55, Williams 73
Pools: Killip; Southam-Hales, Liddle, Odusina, Kitching; Featherstone, Shelton (Holohan 83), Donaldson, Molyneux; Toure (Keena 76), Harker (Hawkes 67).
Subs not used: Anderson, Mafuta
Referee: James Bell
|03/03/2020||7:45 pm||National League||2019/20|