Pools Still Wait On League Win
A first-half goal was enough for Fleetwood Town to take all three points this afternoon at The Vic and leave Pools still waiting on that first League Two win.
Despite some really positive play from Colin Cooper's men this afternoon, they could not find their first league goal of the campaign so far and as such, that first win is still to come.
Pools were bright, confident, positive and set a high tempo in the opening half of the match with Fleetwood Town this afternoon.
Unfortunately though, it was the visitors who took a 1-0 lead into the second half – much against the run of play.
Jack Compton was again heavily involved in the opening exchanges, sending some great crosses in from the left which showed some hesitation amongst the Fleetwood back line.
Compton picked out Steve Howard with his first attempt and the big striker rose well to send a header at goal, which was cleared off the line after just two minutes of play.
Cooper’s men really did dominate the opening ten minutes here, pushing forward in numbers and the signs were good. Fleetwood looked useful on the counter attack with a lot of pace in the final third but Pools looked the more likely to find the back of the net.
And there were decent chances for Pools before the visitors took the lead, with debutant Matty Dolan trying his luck with a strike from distance which was only parried by Scott Davies and James Poole sending a strike just wide of target.
With fifteen minutes played though, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock; Antoni Sarcevic broke down the right to send a shot across goal towards Scott Flinders. The Pools keeper got a touch on the effort but not enough to hold it and the loose ball was tapped home at the far post by Jeff Hughes.
Sarcevic was back pressing just minutes later but this time his ball into the box was bundled wide by the arriving Gareth Evans.
After a slight dip in tempo from Pools, Cooper’s men were soon back on the attack; Brad Walker picked up a loose ball and fired in a screamer at goal with the outside of his right foot only to see it scrape wide of target.
Pools then had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away by the referee – Pools’ second debutant Michael Duckworth was wiped out when running into the box but the official showed no interest in some strong appeals.
James Poole had a great chance when picked out by Duckworth just 12 yards out on goal but again the striker’s effort went wide.
And so it was Pools who remained brightest going into the break but it was Fleetwood who had that one-goal advantage.
As they had in the first half, Pools came out enthusiastically for the second half and there was almost an early equaliser when a Neil Austin cross caused problems inside the area and Nathan Pond went close to sending it past his own keeper.
And Pools continued to dominate the early part of the second half, with Duckworth providing width down the right and Compton remaining an option on the opposite flank.
But Cooper’s men did not have it all their own way as the opposition enjoyed their own, albeit less frequent spells of pressure. David Ball twisted and turned his way into space on the edge of the area only to lose out in a challenge with Austin, while Jeff Evans flashed a shot just wide of Flinders’ post.
Austin got in another crucial block to deny Hughes from grabbing a second as Fleetwood continued to press, while the woodwork also came to the rescue for Pools as the visitors pressed.
Pools were in need of a spark now as the final fifteen minutes of the second half arrived and Steve Howard went close to providing it when he rose to meet a right wing cross into the box and powered a header at goal only to be denied by a great save.
There was yet another appeal for a penalty as Pools threw everyone forward and a Christian Burgess shot looked to hit a hand inside the box but once again the referee failed to acknowledge appeals and Cooper’s men had to keep looking.
Michael Duckworth, who really impressed on his debut this afternoon, sent a lovely cross into the box from the right that caught the Fleetwood defence out but just escaped the attentions of Steve Howard despite the big striker throwing himself at the ball.
As the minutes ticked away, Fleetwood did their best to waste as many of the remaining minutes as possible and any chance of an equaliser looked lost.
And so Pools are still looking for a first league goal and a first win to really get this season started. Once again, Cooper's men showed some encouraging signs and were unlucky not to take something from the game.
Full Time: Pools 0 Fleetwood Town 1
Booked: Baldwin (6), Walton (74), Monkhouse (88)
Att: 3297 (142 Fleetwood Town)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Walker, Walton (James 86), Dolan, Compton (Rodney 75), Poole (Monkhouse 61), Howard
Rafferty, Collins, Holden, FranksSubs Not Used:
Davies, Murdoch, Roberts, Pond, Evans (Howell 85), Hughes, Brown (Crowther 77), Hogan, Sarcevic, Ball (Matt 81), JordanFleetwood Town:
Parkin, McLaughlin, Blair, LucasSubs Not Used: