Pools Fall To One-Goal Defeat At York
York City had the first real chance of the game from a freekick that came in from the right but Scott Flinders collected it at the second attempt.
Shaq Coulthirst was next to try his luck on 8 minutes as he turned to send a shot in from the left which forced Flinders to full stretch but went just wide of the far post.
There was a quick tempo to the game throughout this first half, with both sides seeing plenty of the ball and a couple of decent chances at either end.
On 10 minutes a Jonathan Franks corner from the right caused problems for the home defence before Scott Harrison hit it on the volley towards goal only to see Dave Winfield deflect it wide for a corner.
Brad Walker nipped neatly between two York men to send a low drive at goal which again was deflected wide but Pools were looking bright.
Jonathan Franks saw his shot on goal blocked but only into the path of strike partner Jordan Hugill. He stepped into space to shoot on goal but also saw his effort blocked.
Franks opened up down the right, turning Stephane Zubar inside out before flashing a ball across the face of goal but there was no-one close enough to get that final touch and the chance went wide.
At the other end, Scott Flinders pulled off a great save to deny Jake Hyde who had spun into space to shoot from the edge of the box.
And then Pools had a big let-off as Russell Penn cut through the midfield to go through on goal but the York City man took a touch when a shot looked on and Pools were able to block. The loose ball then fell nicely for Michael Coulson with just Flinders to beat but he sent his shot from close range high over the bar.
York City were reduced to ten men just before the break when Dave Winfield put in a two-footed challenge on Brad Walker on the edge of the box. The referee was quick to produce the red card and the hosts continued with a man less.
The game was goalless at the break but both teams had gone close in the first half and there was a big 45 minutes for Pools to take advantage of their extra man.
Once Moore’s side settled into their stride, they started to pass it about well in the second half, throwing the ball back at York time and again.
Aaron Tshibola had a good chance but sent his strike high over the bar as Pools looked to open the scoring.
But a spell of pressure from the hosts saw them take the lead on 67 minutes in cruel circumstances; a shot from Luke Summerfield from distance took a big deflection, catching Flinders routed and nestling into the bottom corner of the net.
Pools faced a real test of character now as they needed to maintain their composure if they were to get back into this game.
Jonathan Franks sent a shot at goal from just inside the box that was held by Michael Ingham and the home keeper came out on top – albeit more spectacularly with Franks’ next effort. The Pools forward curled a testing effort towards goal only to be denied by Ingham with a great save to stop it going into the top corner.
But Pools were not making their extra man count where it mattered and, as the clocked ticked down, the nerves heightened.
Franks had another shot on goal, this time through a crowded penalty box but again Ingham got down to save it.
In terms of possession, the final ten minutes were dominated totally by Pools but, despite the chances on goal, they just couldn't find a way through.
And so this crucial game, played out in front of an impressive 2024 travelling Poolies, finished in defeat for Pools who next face Accrington Stanley at The Vic on Tuesday night in another massive fixture.
Booked: Harrison (16), Austin (60)
Attendance: 5424 (2024 Pools)
York City: Ingham, McCombe, Coulson (Ilesanmi 68i), Summerfield, Penn, Lowe, Winfield, Halliday, Coulthirst (Platt 82), Zubar, Hyde.
Subs Not Used: Mooney, McCoy, Ilesanmi, Montrose, Miller, O'Hanlon
Pools: Flinders, Austin (Fenwick 81), Harrison, Mirfin, D Jones, Duckworth (J Jones 90), Featherstone, Tshibola, Walker (Hawkins 70), Franks, Hugill.
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Richards, Nelson-Addy, Harewood.