Pools Win And Secure Safety
Pools beat Exeter City 2-1 in today's crucial League Two match at The Vic and secure position in the league.
Goals from Scott Fenwick and Jordan Hugill secured the points for Ronnie Moore's side this afternoon and the win, coupled with other results, sees the Club avoid relegation from League Two.
Pools came firing out of the blocks this afternoon and showed the kind of grit and determination that had seen them claw their way back out of the relegation zone.
Moore’s side set a high tempo from the off and dominated the early possession, with the front two of Jordan Hugill and Scott Fenwick linking up well and providing a rea physical outlet for Pools.
And just after the quarter-hour mark Pools got a deserved opener when Hugill flicked the ball through for Fenwick who shrugged off the defender to push into the box and fire confidently past James Hamon.
No sooner had Pools scored and they were under pressure at the other end as a Liam Sercombe corner from the left picked out Graham Cummins in space in the area. His powerful header was blocked out by Scott Flinders with a great reaction save to put it wide.
Unfortunately Pools switched off again at the back for the resulting corner and it was almost a carbon copy as Sercombe again found Cummins from the corner and the striker again was allowed the space to send a header at goal, this time hitting the back of the net.
Pools did not let their heads drop following the equaliser and were soon back on the attack; a great cross from Dan Jones on the left picked out Fenwick at the far post but his volley from close range was sent wide by Hamon with a good save.
There was a real fighting spirit with Pools today, inspired largely by Nicky Featherstone who was at the heart of things for his side this afternoon.
With half time approaching the visitors had a short spell of pressure but Pools were looking stronger at the back now and dealt with what they had to offer.
And the first half finished really well for Pools as an Aaron Tshibola surging run saw the midfielder then threat the ball through into the box for Hugill who showed both strength and composure to take the ball down and power it past Hamon to make it 2-1.
Pools carried their momentum into the second half and it was another fast-paced start after the break.
Jordan Hugill, working as a human battering ram for his side on occasion, won a couple of corners and had a number of chances – including a close-range header – to add to his goal.
Jonathan Franks picked up possession to the right of the area to force his way past three yellow shirts and shoot on goal. His effort curled just wide of the near post but it was a good effort.
While Pools had dominated the opening part of this second half, Exeter began to look more determined going forward and there was more work for Moore’s men to do at the back then they had to face in the first half.
Matthew Bates put in a really brave header to get down and clear the danger as David Wheeler waited to collect a cross into the box.
And with a real tension around The Vic, Pools faced some nervy moments in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Scott Fenwick, who worked non-stop this afternoon, had a shot cleared off the line as he tried a shot through a crowded penalty area.
But there was too much action at the other ends for the nerves to handle as Exeter continued to push forward and the Pools defence, marshalled impressively once again by Player of the Year Scott Harrison, battled hard for every ball.
And Pools dug deep to take victory and, with both Cheltenham Town and Tranmere Rovers both losing, the win sees the Club secure their league status.
Full Time: Pools 2 Exeter City 1
Attendance: 4994 (149 Exeter City)
Booked: Hugill (8)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Harrison, Bates, D Jones, Franks, Tshibola, Featherstone, Compton, Hugill (Harewood 68), Fenwick.
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Walker, Miller, Nelson-Addy, Miller, Duckworth, J Jones.
Exeter City: Hamon, Bennett, Sercombe, Oakley, Keohane (Nichols 68), Davies, McAllister, Moore-Taylor, Nicholls (Wheeler 46), Cummins (Morrison 64), Harley.
Subs Not Used: Butterfield, Tillson, Jay, Pym.