Point On The Road For Pools
Pools brought home a point from a goalless draw against Torquay United on an afternoon light on clear cut chances at Plainmoor.
Colin Cooper’s men were left still searching for their first league goal of the campaign but were buoyed the collection of another point on their travels.
However, it could have been different had the hosts made the most of a lightning fast start or Brad Walker had managed to convert a chance that fell to him right at the death.
Alan Knill’s side were clearly keen to get out of the traps quickly and Neil Austin was forced to block terrifically inside the area after only eleven seconds to prevent Jordan Chappell striking the first goal.
The Gulls weren’t finished there and Karl Hawley – a summer signing from Scunthorpe – saw his shot from the right corner of the box held by Scott Flinders before then sending a near post header just over the bar.
The hosts’ energy threatened to boil over when Krystian Pearce lunged dangerously at Matty Dolan but despite catching the midfielder high on the knee, the referee chose not to issue even a yellow card.
Pools looked rattled, and they were on the back foot again when Michael Duckworth stumbled in possession on the halfway line and Torquay drove forward – thankfully Hawley’s drive was always swerving wide of the far post.
Jack Compton, whose father Paul was once Manager at Plainmoor, was first to create something of note for Pools but when he charged to the byline and cut it back to Steve Howard the striker couldn’t get a shot away cleanly and the chance was gone.
Ben Harding tried his luck with a curler which flashed wide of the target, while Howard came closer just before the break when he nodded Compton’s free-kick just past the post.
Howard failed to re-emerge for the second half after taking an arm in the face from defender Aaron Downes which required six stitches.
The home side began the second half with confidence and Christan Burgess bravely blocked an effort from Lee Mansell after Flinders had failed to cleanly collect Dale Tonge’s cross from the right.
Matty Dolan did well to get in the way of Kevin Nicholson’s low drive to take the string out of the effort while Billy Bodin fired over wastefully from close range following good work from Callum Ball.
Ball then took matters in to his own hands when he wriggled in to room at the front edge of the six-yard box but though his shot beat Flinders, Austin was back to cover and clear off the line.
Pools recovered enough composure to then create their best chance so far when patient build-up gave Brad Walker the chance to clip a beautiful through ball to Luke James – but the half time substitute was forced wide and his shot was blocked by keeper Martin Rice.
Torquay substitute Eliot Benyon almost made an instant impact when he headed in Ball’s cross-shot only for the flag to signal offside and cut short the home crowd’s cheers.
And then midway through four minutes of injury time a swift counter-attack saw the ball fall to Jonathan Franks whose floated cross landed on the chest of Brad Walker at the far post only for the teenage to prod his effort agonisingly wide.
Full Time: Torquay United 0 Pools 0
Booked:Howard (28), Walker (49)
Att: 2646 (89 Pools)
Torquay United: Rice, Tonge, Nicholson, Downes, Pearce, Mansell, Harding (Lathrope 75), Bodin (Cameron 64), Chapell, Hawley (Benyon 81), Ball
Subs Not Used: N Thompson, Cruise, C Thompson, Sullivan
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Walker, Walton, Dolan, Compton (Monkhouse 70), Franks, Howard (James 46)
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Collins, Holden, Poole, Rodney