Gray Double Helps Pools To Victory
Ronnie Moore's side came from a goal down to beat Leyton Orient 3-1 at The Vic in front of the live Sky Sports cameras.
Pools had plenty of defending to do this afternoon but made their chances count at the other end, with a Kudus Oyenuga penalty and a Jake Gray double earning the three points for Pools.
It was Leyton Orient who started the better of the teams, with Pools again lacking fluidity in the opening minutes.
The visitors tried their luck from the off, with Sean Clohessy firing over the bar from distance with the first move of the game.
And it proved as early warning for Pools as Orient were soon back to test their firepower again; the first corner of the game found its way to Mathieu Baudry who tried to put it in from close range but Trevor Carson got there quickly to block it wide.
A ball into the box from Clohessy on the right was aimed for the head of John Marquis but Michael Duckworth had other ideas and rose well to intercept with a flicked header to clear.
With 13 minutes gone and Orient back on the attack, Pools didn’t show enough conviction at the back to clear, allowing Bradley Pritchard to pick the ball up, take a touch and fire home from close range to make it 1-0.
Pools still didn’t look the most confident but just seven minutes later they were level; a cross into the box was deemed to have been handled by an Orient defender and the official awarded a penalty.
Kudus Oyenuga, determined to take the kick, chased back for the ball and stepped up to smash a very confident spotkick past Grainger to level the scores on 20 minutes.
The goal eased the pace of the game for a spell, as Orient’s pressure eased and Moore’s side began to see a bit more of the ball.
Mikael Mandron was a handful for the visiting defence, with his non-stop running and battling, while Carl Magnay provided a bit of bite in the middle.
Matthew Bates was a strong influence for Pools at the back, remaining calm throughout and getting in some crucial interceptions for his side.
It was Orient who came closest to scoring again though as they upped their pressure again in the final ten minutes of the first half; John Marquis fired in a shot from the edge of the box which pulled another impressive stop from Carson – this time a one-handed block to keep it out.
Kal Naismith put a great cross in for Pools late in the half but his pacy ball just missed the head of the arriving Scott Fenwick.
The teams went in all square at half time, with Pools perhaps the more fortunate to be on level terms at this stage in the game.
There was some early defending for Moore’s side to do after the break, with two well-timed blocks from the impressive Bates to clear the danger.
And the defender was involved at the other end shortly after; Fenwick fed the ball through for Mandron who lost out to Clohessy running in on goal. From the resulting corner which was delivered well by Naismith, Bates got up highest to send a header at goal but watched his effort go over Grainger’s bar.
Trevor Carson pulled off a great save again, this time denying Baudry with a header after a cross in from Lloyd James.
And, while Pools were under pressure for much of this second half, it was Ronnie Moore’s men who were next to find the back of the net.
It was great work from the busy Mandron in the build-up to win the ball for his side allowing Gray to pick up possession just outside of the box. With the goal in his sights, Gray unleashed a low powerful drive towards goal which took a deflection on its way through the box and hit the net to make it 2-1 on 71 minutes.
There was still plenty of defending for Pools to do as Orient were not giving up and Carson had yet another save to make, this time denying Ollie Palmer from close range.
But Pools - and Jake Gray - weren't finished at the other end. It was great work from Naismith to set up the on-loan Crystal Palace midfielder and once Gray had the ball, he showed real class and composure to take the ball into the box and slot it coolly across Grainger and into the far post.
The win sees Pools pick up their first three points at The Vic since August and sets the team up nicely for a busy run of games ahead.
Final Score: Pools 3 Leyton Orient 1
Attendance: 3785 (237 Leyton Orient)
Pools: Carson, Duckworth (Harrison 77), Jackson, Bates, Carroll, Oyenuga (Oates 68), Gray, Magnay, Naismith, Fenwick (Featherstone 82), Mandron.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Jones, Woods, Bingham.
Leyton Orient: Grainger, Clohessy, Shaw, Dunne (Turgott 86), Baudry, James, Palmer, Payne, Pritchard (Kashket 75), Simpson, Marquis.
Subs Not Used: Sargeant, Moncur, Semedo.