Pools Make It Three In A Row
Pools capped off a fine week on the road with a wonderful 3-0 victory over high-flying Exeter City at St James’ Park.
The Grecians had risen to the top three in League Two on the back of three wins in four and had only tasted defeat once on their own patch all season.
But once Colin Cooper’s men had weathered an early period of pressure from the hosts they were rarely in trouble, City boss Paul Tisdale afterwards telling the press even bringing a £50million signing on at half time would have failed to halt Pools’ momentum.
The game almost began with a bang for Pools when Luke James pounced on some sloppy defending by City skipper Danny Coles but the teenage front man’s first time shot flew just wide of Artur Krysiak’s left-hand post.
At the other end Arron Davies almost provided a telling touch when he arrived to meet Scot Bennett’s far post header but Scott Flinders grabbed the loose ball.
Pools continued to grow in to the game though and snatched the opening goal on twenty minutes when Jack Compton took a corner short from Simon Walton and shaped a beautiful delivery in to the far post where Jack Baldwin nodded home his third goal for the Club.
The goal spurred Colin Cooper’s men on further and the confidence gained from two successive away wins came to the fore as Luke James intercepted possession on the half way line to feed James Poole but his shot was held by Krysiak.
Matty Dolan – back in the side after a groin injury – found Jack Compton with a sumptuous volleyed cross-field pass and the winger drove in from the right before hitting a shot in to the midriff of the home keeper.
Dolan was next to test Krysiak when Compton sent a corner deep to the edge of the box where the on-loan midfielder sent a volley on goal which was held by the Polish keeper.
James – a constant thorn in the side of the City defence – then nicked the ball on the halfway line and sped through on goal but when he reached the area he dragged a left-footed shot across goal and wide.
The hosts were struggling to get a foothold in the game but did have an opening when the dangerous Alan Gow burst on to Craig Woodman’s measured through ball but when he cut the ball back Christian Burgess was there to bravely block away the danger.
James came close to doubling Pools’ lead just before half time when he did well to wriggle in to space on the right of the penalty area before driving a right-footed effort just past the post.
However, the striker didn’t have to wait long after the break to get on the scoresheet. Compton flighted a wonderful ball from the right in behind the City centre-backs and James killed it with a brilliant first touch before bravely lifting it over the advancing Krysiak with his second.
The 144 travelling fans were in raptures and the confidence was coursing through the veins of the Pools players, who could have extended their lead when Poole stormed in on goal only to fire wide.
Poole was involved when the third goal arrived just after the hour mark when he fought for the ball inside the penalty area before it broke to Compton who rammed home with his right foot to further delight the Pools supporters.
There was still time for Poole to further threaten the City goal when he dropped in to the space on the edge of the penalty area but he sent one effort wide of the target and another straight at Krysiak.
If Pools had managed more goals then it wouldn’t have been undeserved after another flowing away performance - now Colin Cooper will be hoping his players can take that confidence and momentum back to The Vic for consecutive home games next week.
Full Time: Exeter City 0 Pools 3
Booked: Exeter City: Doherty (15)
Att: 3,615 (144 Pools)
Exeter City: Krysiak, Butterfield (Moore-Taylor 23), Woodman, Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Sercombe, Gow (O’Flynn 65), Davies, Doherty, Wheeler (Keohane 46).
Subs: Pym, O'Flynn, Nichols, Tillson, and Grimes.
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Walton, Dolan, Compton (Richards 80), Monkhouse, Poole (Sweeney 86), James (Franks 74).
Subs: Rafferty, Holden, Walker, Rodney.