Defeat For Pools In Checkatrade Trophy
Pools lost out 2-1 in their first Checkatrade Trophy outing of the season as Notts County did enough to edge a tight game.
It was a relatively quiet game - until the final minutes when both teams were reduced to ten men following a scuffle involving most of the players on the pitch.
Notts County were first to try their luck on goal, with Toto Nsiala putting in an early block to deny the lively Stanley Aborah from opening the scoring.
Graham Burke then followed up shortly after with a strike from the edge of the area which beat Adam Bartlett in the Pools goal but landed on the roof of the net.
Aborah was back to try his luck in the 17th minute as the hosts enjoyed the majority of the early possession; this time the midfielder let rip with a powerful blast from 25 yards but he saw his effort tipped wide by the fingers of Bartlett at full stretch.
County took the lead on 20 minutes as Adam Campbell showed his pace to burst forward deep into the final third. He then played in Genaro Snijders who twisted his way into space before sending a low drive across goal and into the far corner of the net.
The goal seemed to spur a so-far muted Pools into life and the game opened up.
Lewis Alessandra put the ball across the face of goal where Billy Paynter was waiting to collect but Notts keeper Scott Loach intercepted to deny the chance.
Alessandra was back involved in the attack shortly after, this time powering forward from a central position to feed the ball to Rhys Oates who squeezed a low effort past Loach to make it 1-1 on 29 minutes.
Just six minutes later and Notts County were back ahead; Lewis Hawkins ruled to have fouled Carl Dickinson as the pair collided inside the box. Burke stepped up to take the penalty and he sent Bartlett the wrong way, smashing the ball home to make it 2-1.
The hosts went close again just before the break when the pacy Campbell burst past Scott Harrison and into the box but the Pools defender recovered well and got back in time to intercept the cross into the box.
Craig Hignett made two changes at half time, replacing Billy Paynter and Lewis Alessandra with Connor Smith and Kieran Green.
The second half was quieter than the first, with few early chances on goal at either end.
Josh Laurent saw a half chance hit the roof of the net but there was very little to test Scott Loach in an uneventful second forty-five in front of goal. Pools controlled much of the possession and did play some neat football without creating too much in the final third.
With just 15 minutes remaining, Genaro Snijders injected a bit of life into the game as he first fired just over the bar from a tight angle before going back for more with another shot that was saved by Bartlett.
The game exploded in the final minutes, with the majority of the players becoming involved in a scuffle, which stemmed from a stamp on Lewis Hawkins - this resulted in Toto Nsiala seeing red for Pools and Wesley Atkinson also being sent off for the hosts.
It was a dramatic end to what had so far been a more sedate game and the interruption halted what had been a better spell for Pools as they looked for a late equaliser and the game finished in defeat.
Full Time: Notts County 2 Pools 1
Booked: (Nsiala 71)
Attendance: 1095 (40 Pools)
Notts County: Loach, Audel, Laing, Hollis, Dickinson, Rodman (Hewitt 55), Aborah (Atkinson 69), Burke, Richards, Campbell (Milsom 64), Snijders.
Subs Not Used: Collin, Smith, Wildin, Edwards.
Pools: Bartlett, Richards, Nsiala, Harrison, Carroll (Martin 73), Laurent, Hawkins, Deverdics, Alessandra (Green 46), Paynter (Smith 46), Oates.
Subs Not Used: Dudzinski, Woods, Pollock, Orrell.