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Stalemate At The Store First Stadium

11 March 2014

Pools put in a dogged display this evening, keeping Accrington Stanley at bay but just failing to create enough at the other end to break the deadlock.

Pools were faced with an Accrington corner within minutes of kick off but Cooper’s men dealt with it and responded well to a strong start by the hosts.

Simon Walton had a couple of early chances from distance but after first chipping an effort over the bar, the busy midfielder sent another strike the same way.

Jonathan Franks, back in the team in place of Marlon Harewood, was another to test his luck but his header found only the arms of Marcus Bettinelli.

Jack Barmby sent a shot from distance over the bar after Simon Walton had started a move with a strong tackle on the half-way line.

Accrington had their fair share of the ball too in this first half with James Gray in particular causing problems in the final third. 

Luke Joyce sent a freekick over Flinders’ bar after Brad Walker had fouled Gray who had broken through, while Will Hatfield sent a strike from close range just wide. 

Tom Aldred met a corner from the right to head at goal but Flinders got down to save comfortably as Pools dealt with any threat from the hosts. Christian Burgess in particular for Pools was solid and put in a couple of decent blocks to clear danger.

With no goals in a fairly even first half, Pools would need a strong second forty-five if they were to get the points this evening.

It was Accrington who again started the brightest though and there was an early scare as Josh Windass fired in from just outside the area, only for his strike to go wide of Flinders’ far post.

The chances kept coming for the hosts and Pools were saved by the woodwork with a looping shot finding the crossbar.

Cooper’s men struggled to find their way over the half way line for a decent spell after the break but there was some determined defending at the other end – with another brave block from Burgess and Walton working hard to support the back four.

Will Hatfield arrived to meet a Laurence Wilson cross from the left but, with Flinders looking beaten, Hatfield’s touch took it just wide of the far post.

Pools began to see a bit more of the ball, most notably down the left but just failed to find that killer ball into the box – and Accrington remained a threat on the break and when Adam Buxton burst free, he managed to escape three challenges to before the final ball went over the bar.

Accrington were looking by far the most likely to open the scoring and another cross into the box found the lively Windass in space to turn and shot but Flinders got down to hold.

Luke James battled to get a cross into the box from the left which Andy Monkhouse did well to reach at full stretch but his header could not beat Bettinelli.

Colin Cooper made three late changes as he looked to give his side that final spark they looked to have lacked this evening but despite four minutes of additional time, there was no breakthrough and the game finished 0-0.

Booked: Barmby (19), Walker (26), Collins (35)

Att: 1196 (175 Pools)

Full Time: Accrington Stanley 0 Pools 0

Accrington Stanley: Bettinelli, Joyce, Aldred, Winnard (Atkinson 90), Webber (Naismith 70), Hatfield, Molyneux, Gray (Odejayi 81), Wilson, Windass, Buxton
Subs Not Used: Dawber, Clark, Mingoia, Bowerman 

Pools: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Burgess, Holden, Walton, Walker, Monkhouse, Barmby (Sweeney 86), James (Harewood 88), Franks (Poole 81)
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Hawkins, Compton, Rodney

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