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Match Reports

Match Report : 06/08/2016

6 August 2016

Opening Day Point For Pools

Craig Hignett's side came back from an early goal down to take a point from the first game of the 2016/17 season. 

The equaliser was scored from the penalty spot by Billy Paynter and, despite plenty of chances for Pools, it proved to be the only goal of the game for Hignett's men. 

The start of the game showed two sets of players who were desperate to get the season underway; with decent chances at both ends inside the first minute. 

And the frantic pace continued, with Colchester United taking the lead after just four minutes. A short pass back from Toto Nsiala allowed the visitors through but Rob Jones did enough to get a block in and deflected it out for a corner. 

The resulting corner was not dealt with by Pools and when Tom Eastman found himself in space with the ball at his feet, he lifted it past Carson and into the top corner of the net to make it 1-0. 

Pools took a while to really fall into their stride but when they did, the team played some really bright, attacking football. 

Padraig Amond had his first chance when Nathan Thomas whipped a great cross in from the left which had the striker at full stretch to get a shot in, which was blocked out by the defender. 

Nsiala put the ball out to the impressive Lewis Alessandra on the edge of the box just after but his low strike was easy for Sam Walker. 

The lively Alessandra linked up well with Thomas down the right of the box, before Thomas pushed on into the box only to be tripped on his way. Referee Paul Tierney pointed straight to the spot and Billy Paynter made no mistake as he confidently fired home the penalty, and Pools’ first goal of the season to make it 1-1. 

Pools were quickly boosted by the leveller and went close to adding more on several occasions before the break. 

Thomas saw his shot blocked before Amond sent a header just wide of the far post, while the pair combined for the next decent chance for Pools; a Thomas cross picked out Amond in the centre of goal but his effort from close range went high over the bar. 

Thomas was busy again just moments later, turning Richard Brindley inside out as he forced his way forward to fizz another cross into the box but this one went untested and was cleared before finding its way to Paynter at the far post. 

Kurtis Guthrie had the best chance for the visitors when he picked up possession with only Trevor Carson to beat but instead of taking his shot, the winger took a touch and allowed Jake Carroll to push him out wide. 

After the slow start to the first half, Pools finished the opening forty-five on top and created enough chances to suggest there were more goals to come after the break. 

Colchester United had two early chances in the second half, with both Sammie Szmodics and Craig Slater sending chances wide of target.

Nathan Thomas continued to be a real problem for the visitors in the second half, showing an ability to carve them open down the left at every attempt. 

Lewis Alessandra had another chance, this time creating the opening himself but his final powerful shot was blocked away by Tom Lapslie. 

Luke Prosser saw his headed effort bounce down and then just over Carson’s bar before Pools pushed up the other end and Nicky Featherstone sent a drilled shot into the arms of Walker. 

Pools were fortunate on 76 minutes as Colchester broke with pace to find themselves with four men bearing down on goal, but as Guthrie again found himself in the position to shoot, he sent his final ball wide when a goal looked on the cards. 

Thomas had a shot from distance that was collected by Walker and Josh Laurent saw a deflected ball go just wide of goal while at the other end Carson stuck out a hand to block a shot from Dion Sembie-Ferris who forced his way through the area to fire a low strike on goal. 

But there were no more goals on this opening day of 2016/17 season at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium and Pools had to settle for a point to kick start the campaign. 

Full Time: Pools 1 Colchester United 1

Booked: Carroll (34)

Pools: Carson, Magnay, Nsiala, Jones, Carroll, Featherstone (Woods 72), Alessandra, Hawkins, Thomas, Amond (Deverdics 77), Paynter (Laurent 87).
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Richards, Bates, Oates.
Colchester United: Walker, Brindley, Lapslie, Prosser, Wright (Sembie-Ferris 70), Porter (Johnstone 62), Szmodics (Bonne 87), Eastman, Slater, Guthrie, Kinsella.
Subs Not Used: Bransgrove, Kent, Loft, Vincent-Young, Bonne.

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