Pools Win To Make Second Round
Two goals from Jonathan Franks sealed victory over East Thurrock United as Paul Murray's side put their name in the hat for the next round of the FA Cup.
It was a goal in each half from Franks to secure the win over an East Thurrock side who did not make it easy for Murray's side this afternoon.
Pools started with determination and denied the visitors any real touch of the ball within the opening minutes of the game.
It was still the visitors who managed the first shot on goal though as Lewis Smith fired a shot in from 25 yards which was collected with relative ease by Scott Flinders.
At the other end Jordan Richards, playing right midfield this afternoon, sent in great cross which pulled the first save of the game from East Thurrock keeper David Hughes.
Pools looked largely in control of the game but the visitors passed it around well when in possession and gave Murray’s side plenty of work to do.
And on 11 minutes Pools had a real scare as Mitchell Gilby broke through to shoot on goal from 25 yards. With Flinders out at full stretch, the ball headed for goal before hitting the inside of the bar and bouncing back into play.
Pools went straight upfield following the effort and Jonathan Franks tried a shot from close range onto to be denied by Hughes who pulled off another decent block.
Michael Duckworth was a real driving force for Pools, pushing forward from his right back spot to open things up in the final third and the defender showed off some fancy footwork inside the box on a couple of occasions.
A cross in from Franks on the left found Richards in the box but his header went over the bar before the visitors enjoyed their best spell of possession on the half-hour mark.
Pools dealt with any threat East Thurrock had to pose though and again pushed forward to try their luck on goal – this time with more success.
Jonathan Franks forced his way forward with a powerful run before unleashing a fierce drive from the edge of the box, which beat Hughes as it nestled in the bottom corner of the net.
Lewis Smith had a chance to level things up for East Thurrock just before the break as he shot from distance but Flinders did enough to put the shot out for a corner.
Visiting keeper Hughes kept things within touching distance for his side before half time as he pulled off two great saves to deny Marlon Harewood; the first came to block a powerful drive and the second a close-range header from the resulting corner.
Pools started the second half as they had the first and the visitors struggled to find any real possession in the opening minutes.
Again after a bright start, the game settled down but Pools maintained their dominance, just struggling to find anything to really threaten the second goal.
Brad Walker went closest first, firing in a real thunder strike from 30 yards which sailed through the area and just wide of target, while Sidney Schmeltz arrived to meet the rebound from a decent Duckworth effort which was saved, only to see his shot go over the bar.
The visitors would not this game go and really picked up the tempo just after the hour mark to press Pools right back for a spell, with anxiety showing on and off the pitch.
Sam Higgins saw his close range effort saved by Flinders, while Neil Austin put in a brave block to deny Smith a shot on goal as the visitors took the momentum away from Pools.
Sam Collins and Neil Austin both showed their experience this afternoon and were solid at the back for Pools throughout the game and particularly during the spell of pressure from the Rocks.
Jonathan Franks looked set to settle any nerves for Pools on 79 minutes when he was played in by Harewood but the East Thurrock keeper Hughes pulled off a great save at full-stretch to deny the forward his second goal.
Brad Walker tried his luck with a low drive from the edge of the box but again Hughes was there to collect.
Franks finally did get his second of the match on 86 minutes; a cross in from Harewood on the right was spilled by Hughes and Franks was in the right place to simply nod over the line to make it 2-0.
Just a minute later and Man of the Match Hughes was back on form, this time blocking a Harewood blast from just inside the box.
Booked: Duckworth (58)
Att: 2800 (104 East Thurrock United)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Austin, Jones, Richards, Featherstone, Walker, Franks, Schmeltz (Woods 73), Harewood.
Subs Not Used: Bates, Holden, Green, Crooks, Hawkins. Smith.
East Thurrock United: Hughes, Witherspoon, Stephen, Peddie, Wood, Goodacre, Bryant (Sammons 79), Parenter, Higgins, Smith, Gilbey (Harris 65).
Subs Not Used: Symons, Anderson, Paxman, Burton.