Pools Share Points In Positive Display
Colin Cooper's side dominated possession this afternoon but could not find a way past Scunthorpe United in a game that finished 0-0.
Pools were again on top in this first half at The Vic, showing a real attacking edge and limiting Scunthorpe in terms of both possession and chances.
While Pools pushed forward on a number of fronts, with Luke Williams, Luke James, Brad Walker and Jack Barmby all looking bright, the visitors’ main threat was Gary McSheffrey down the left wing.
The pacy winger saw his first cross into the box blocked well by Darren Holden, who was a real presence in the first half both in defending and supporting the attack.
The increasingly impressive Williams drove on in an impressive solo run, clearing over 40 yards before being robbed of possession as he lined up a shot on goal.
And Williams was at it again shortly after, this time pushing in from the left to shoot from a very tight angle, only to be denied by the solid Sam Slocombe at the far post.
There was a scare for Pools on 21 minutes when McSheffrey was allowed too much space and he let rip with a fierce strike which beat Flinders but was denied by the woodwork.
At the other end, the ball bounced kindly for Andy Monkhouse and he fired in a volley at goal only to see his shot saved by Slocombe.
Brad Walker, another in good form this afternoon, broke up a lot in midfield and found himself able to break from half-way, leaving David Mirfin grounded in his wake. But Walker’s final ball was just too much for Williams and Scunthorpe were again able to clear.
Pools went closest in the minutes just before the break as both Burgess and Monkhouse tried shots on goal following a Simon Walton corner but two goal-line clearances kept them out and ensured the teams went in level at half time.
The second half saw the visitors sticking closer to the Pools players, allowing less space and time on the ball but Cooper’s men continued to dominate.
James and Williams both caused early problems for the visitors as Cooper’s side coped better with the strong wind than their opponents had in the first half.
McSheffrey was back to test Pools again on 55 minutes when he picked up the ball to the left of the area but this time he was denied by Neil Austin with a perfectly-timed block.
Sam Collins put in an equally important block as Scunthorpe enjoyed some pressure in the final third and pushed numbers into the box.
Russ Wilcox looked to take advantage of this brief spell for his side - and the increasing wind - by introducing striker Paddy Madden to the action and Pools had their first real sustained spell of defending to do.
Scott Flinders was solid as McSheffrey sent a well-taken freekick in from distance before Pools were back on the attack.
Jack Barmby showed great skill to skip past two Scunthorpe men, nip into the box and test Slocombe with a powerful strike but the visiting keeper reacted well to block his shot
Colin Cooper made his own changes as Marlon Harewood and Jack Compton came on looking to give Pools that final push over the line.
And a great cross from Compton from the right shortly after his introduction set up a decent chance but both Harewood and James missed out on the final touch.
It was all Pools again, with Williams and Walker, as well as Compton trying to drive their team on in search of a late winner.
Marlon Harewood sent a thunderous strike at goal after good work from Walker but his effort scraped wide of the post as the final whistle approached.
Despite four minutes of added time and yet more possession for Pools around the area, there was no breakthrough this afternoon and the game finished 0-0.
Full Time: Pools 0 Scunthorpe United 0
Att: 3727 (497 Scunthorpe United)
Booked: Barmby (35)
Pools: Flinders, Austin (Sweeney 77), Collins, Burgess, Holden, Walton, Barmby (Compton 81), Walker, Monkhouse (Harewood 81), Williams, James
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Hawkins, Poole, Rodney
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, McAllister (Collins 74), Mirfin, Canavan, Hawkridge (Madden 65), Nolan, Syers, McSheffrey, Winnall, Williams, Hayes (Adelakun 79)
Subs Not Used: Severn, Ribeiro, Sparrow, Boyce