Pools Edge Through In FA Cup
Pools are through to the Second Round of the FA Cup, with Kudus Oyenuga's first goal for the Club enough to secure victory over Cheltenham Town.
It was a slightly fortunate result for Ronnie Moore's men who spent much of the game battling at the back to keep the Robins out, but despite a very nervy finish, Pools held on for the win.
Cheltenham Town were the liveliest in the first half, keeping Pools pinned back deep in their own half for much of the opening forty-five.
The visitors had a couple of early runs forward to test the Pools back line and it took until the 14th minute for Moore’s side to have their first effort on goal.
On-loan midfielder Jake Gray picked up possession just over the half-way line to force his way into the box into space to send a shot across goal which just went wide of the far post.
Matthew Bates got back to hook a Billy Waters cross away from the line after a dangerous cross into the box from the Robins striker.
And Cheltenham went on to enjoy a strong period of possession, keeping Pools pegged back and playing it around the final third.
For all of their possession though, there was little to really call Trevor Carson into action – though the keeper was solid again this afternoon when called on.
Kudus Oyenuga was the brightest outfield player for Pools this afternoon, showing decent pace down the left wing and offering the only real outlet in the first half.
And Oyenuga had a decent chance on goal, bursting through on goal with determination only to be denied by Aaron Downes with a solid block inside the box.
It was a below-par first half from much of the Pools side though and so the opening goal on 46 minutes came largely against the run of play.
Nicky Featherstone saw a ball deflect through a crowd into the box for Oyenuga who managed to force the ball over the line from close range under pressure from Cheltenham keeper Dillon Phillips.
It was Cheltenham who again started brightest after the break though, with Pools again spending much of the opening ten minutes defending, while offering little at the other end.
Pools did have a great chance just before the hour mark and the attack was again forced by Oyenuga who burst forward on the counter to play it in for Rakish Bingham inside the box. Bingham sent a pacy ball across the face of goal but missed the arriving Scott Fenwick by inches at it rolled past target.
The action was end-to-end at this point as Billy Waters should have done better with a header which he sent just wide just following that chance for Pools.
The Robins remained the biggest threat as the half progressed, seeing more of the ball and upping the ante with the attack. Adam Jackson put in a number of blocks to clear the danger, while Matthew Bates put in another big challenge on Waters to deny a clear strike on goal.
There were a few desperate clearances at the back from Pools but Bates and loan man Jackson looked assured in their displays, while Carson remained composed behind them.
Carson pulled off an unbelievable double-save to deny Cheltenham Town with two close-range efforts on 80 minutes to maintain the lead for his side.
It was a real nervy final ten minutes for the home fans inside The Vic as the action remained largely stationed at the wrong end of the pitch.
Danny Wright turned to send a low shot at goal but again Carson collected, while Adam Jackson got another header in to clear a cross in from the right.
Wright was waiting for the next cross to come into the box and he met it well, powering a header at goal only to watch it scrape just over the bar.
Jackson, who really grew into the game this afternoon, put in another crucial block late in the game to send a Harry Pell shot out for a corner as the game went into five minutes of added time.
Pell was back up inside the box moments later, this time sending a diving header just wide of the near post as Cheltenham pushed until the very last minute.
Man of the Match Adam Jackson had another part to play before the final whistle, putting a crucial block in to deflect a late shot wide, before the visitors hit the bar with the very last kick of the game.
The whistle came as a relief to Pools who held on to secure their place in the Second Round of the FA Cup.
Full Time: Pools 1 Cheltenham Town 0
Attendance: 2287 (107 Cheltenham Town)
Booked: Carson (90)
Pools: Carson, Duckworth, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Oates, Featherstone, Gray, Oyenuga (Banton 70), Paynter (Bingham 40), Fenwick.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Walker, Woods, Jones, Smith.
Cheltenham Town: Phillips, Barthram (Dayton 54), McLennan (Vaughan 70), Storer, Downes, Parslow, Pell, Waters, Wright, Munns (Hall 62), Dickie.
Subs Not Used: Rowe, Lovett, Thomas, Dinsmore.