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Match Reports

Match Report : 26/12/2014

26 December 2014

All-Square At Mansfield Town

Pools picked up a point at the One Call Stadium in a game that saw Ronnie Moore's side finish with just nine men.

Moore's men came from a goal down to get a point from this Boxing Day match, with Michael Duckworth scoring the crucial goal just after the break.

The game threw up plenty of talking points though as Mansfield Town were reduced to ten men before Pools had both Marlon Harewood and Michael Woods sent off.

Although the hosts had been on top from the off,  it was Pools who had the first real chance of the game on 9 minutes through Michael Duckworth.

Marlon Harewood fed the ball through for Duckworth, who was playing right wing this afternoon, and he showed some of his tradmemark footwork to break into the box and shoot on goal. His effort went wide of target under pressure from a Mansfield defender – with the Pools players claiming the foul on Duckworth, Scott Matthieson the referee waved away the appeals.

And no sooner had the Pools appeals died down and the hosts were ahead, again allowed too much space in the final third to get in and take the lead.

Good work from Reggie Lambe on the left wing saw him exchange passes with Junior Brown before the latter was allowed to shoot from just inside the area, beating Flinders to make it 1-0.

While Mansfield looked the more likely to add to the scoresheet in this first half, Pools showed a few glimpses at the other end – partly due to the industrious approach from Joe Ironside, who battled away for possession.

A Jonathan Franks cross into the box from the left found Dan Jones in the box but his header went over the bar, while Ironside fought past a few bodies on the edge of the area to turn and shoot on goal but his effort went wide of the far post.

There was another call from Pools for a spot-kick after Marlon Harewood took a bang to the head from Luke Waterfall inside the box but again the official ignored the appeals.

Lambe pushed forward again down the right for the hosts, leaving Darren Holden on the floor, to put a decent cross into the box where Vadaine Oliver met it in the air but his header squeezed just wide and into the side netting.

The Pools defenders faced a real battle this afternoon, with Matt Rhead a big presence and sizeable target man for the hosts, and both Bates and Jones enjoyed tussles with the Mansfield striker.

Pools went in at half time a goal behind and needing a much-improved second-half display if they were to get back into this game as Mansfield had dominated the first 45 minutes.

But Ronnie Moore seemed to find the words to inspire his team at the break as they came out much brighter and Michael Woods had a decent strike within minutes of the second half starting.

His shot went just wide of goal but it gave his team something to work on and Pools enjoyed a decent start to the second half, with more possession around the Mansfield box.

And on 52 minutes the equaliser arrived; good work by Harewood saw his pass find Michael Duckworth and he sent a left-foot shot on goal which deflected past Dimitar Evtimov and into the back of the net, giving the Pools fans behind the goal a reason to cheer.

There was controversy at the other end as Matt Rhead saw a header bounce down on the line before Duckworth was able to clear but with the hosts claiming the goal, the officials waved play on and there was no goal.

Minutes later and there was another escape for Pools as Junior Brown flashed a pacy ball across the face of goal, which beat the Pools back line but scraped wide of the far past.

Mansfield Town were reduced to ten men on 72 minutes when Rynn Tafazolli pulled back Joe Ironside as the Pools forward tried to break forward for Pools on the counter-attack.

The hosts then seemed just as intent in getting things levelled up in terms of players than in scoring a second goal with some questionable decisions and on 86 minutes their aim was achieved as Marlon Harewood was sent off, with the reason unclear at present.

There were some hairy moments at both ends in the final minutes but neither team were able to take the advantage. And the game finished on a sour note for Pools as Michael Woods became involved in a silly tussle and picked up his second yellow card in the closing minutes, reducing Pools to nine men.

Full Time: Mansfield Town 1 Pools 1

Attendance: 3357 (419 Pools)

Booked: Woods (44), Fenwick (79), Duckworth (83)
Sent Off: Harewood (86)

Mansfield Town: Evtimov, Sutton, Tafazolli, Rhead (Bingham 79), McGuire, Freeman, Lambe (Riley 75), Brown, Oliver, Waterfall, Clements.
Subs Not Used: Studer, Bell, Palmer, Heslop, Beevers.

Pools: Flinders, Austin, Bates, Jones, Holden, Duckworth, Featherstone, Woods, Franks, Harewood, Ironside (Fenwick 78).
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Lanzoni, Green, Walker, Schmeltz, Compton.

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