Match report: First game of 2021 ends in victory for Pools

Pools made it four wins out of four with a comfortable-in-the-end win against a resilient Wealdstone. Goals from the in-form duo of Luke Armstrong and Rhys Oates along with a tidy finish from Nicky Featherstone meant that Pools climbed closer to Torquay.

Starting on the front foot, Pools’ first chance came as on-form Luke Armstrong’s improvised flick flashed over the crossbar. Two chances for Oates followed as he went close after crosses from Ferguson and Sterry. The pressure was put on again as Oates’ running forced Wealdstone ‘keeper Moore into an air kick. The goalmouth scramble that followed almost resulted in Armstrong’s sixth goal in as many games.

A rare chance for Wealdstone came in the 21st minute as Emmanuel broke through only to be denied by Odusina’s block. Normal service resumed not long after with a flurry of chances for Oates, Johnson, and Armstrong after excellent deliveries from wide. Pools continued to apply the pressure and went into half-time with a deserved lead.

Wealdstone came out of the blocks much faster in the second half with chances from an in-direct free kick awarded after a Magloire backpass. However, Pools showed their quality not long after by swarming forwards and getting their second goal. Ferguson’s goal-bound effort hit Oates who was adjudged to be onside, much to Pools’ delight.

Featherstone added a third with a low strike after good pressure from Pools to make the game comfortable. Further chances presented themselves at each end, with Holohan going close for Pools and Wendy firing narrowly wide for Wealdstone. Wealdstone’s endeavour was finally rewarded in the 76th minute with a fine, left-footed strike from Jacob Mendy that left Killip with no chance.

Late chances for both sides saw Wealdstone strike the bar and have a chance cleared off the line, but Pools held on to make it four wins from four games. Williams and Molyneux made returns from injury in the final 30 minutes and both were involved in closing out a valuable victory for Pools.

Hartlepool will head to Halifax on Tuesday night.

SUBS

69′: Williams for Holohan and Bloomfield for Armstrong

79′: Molyenux for Oates

Yellow cards: Molyneux