Pools Battle To Win Over Wycombe
A Scott Fenwick goal separated the teams on an entertaining afternoon at The Vic when Pools put on a great defensive display.
With Ronnie Moore's having dominated spells of the game, they were worthy leaders but Wycombe spent the last twenty minutes throwing everything at Trevor Carson's goal in search of an equaliser.
But Pools, lead confidently by the central defensive pair of Scott Harrison and Adam Jackson battled hard to keep them out and took the points from this first League Two match of 2016.
It was a positive first half from Pools again this afternoon, with plenty on offer going forward. Michael Woods, who was busy supporting the attack, got in to a good position early in the game but dragged his final shot wide after being played in by Jake Gray.
Gray, who was again enjoying his role just behind Scott Fenwick, was a nuisance for Pools and did not stop his running and chasing all afternoon.
While Pools saw most of the ball, the visitors remained a threat on the break and had their fair share of chances on goal.
Adam Jackson put in a great block inside the box to deny Wycombe a goalscoring opportunity and conceding a third successive corner kick.
Garry Thompson fired in a powerful shot from the edge of the box which found the arms of Trevor Carson before the lively Gozie Ugwu turned to send another shot at Carson’s goal but again the keeper collected.
Nicky Featherstone enjoyed a solid first half for Pools, working well to support the back four and linking up the play as Pools looked to take the advantage.
Scott Harrison did enough to put Thompson off as he powered down on goal on the half-hour, the forward looked to have escaped the attentions of Harrison but he got back to send the effort wide.
Just four minutes later and Pools were ahead; great determination from Rhys Oates saw the ball played out wide to new signing Nathan Thomas.
He showed a great turn of pace to get forward and send a perfectly-weighted cross into the box for Scott Fenwick to volley home.
The goal was a deserved one for Pools who had been on top for much of the half, with just the clear-cut chances lacking before the goal.
Fenwick then turned provider as he sent the ball through for Jake Gray to run onto but the Crystal Palace man lost out to Anthony Stewart who pushed it out for a corner.
Pools took their lead into the second half and started that just as brightly; Rhys Oates powered forward to try his luck early on but his effort was deflected wide for a corner.
Jason McCarthy looked to create something for the visitors as he sent a great cross in from the right but just as the busy Ugwu arrived to head home at the far post, Jordan Richards popped up to nick the ball away and clear the danger.
Richards was involved at the other end as he stepped up to take a freekick just outside of the box; the right back bent a lovely freekick towards goal only to be denied by Matt Ingram with a great save. Scott Harrison followed up with a curled effort at the far post but again Ingram was equal to it.
Pools were upping their pressure at this point and Ingram was having his busiest spell in goal; Oates, who again worked tirelessly this afternoon, burst into the box to shoot from 20 yards but the Wycombe keeper held the effort.
Michael Woods found himself in great space to have a go on 65 minutes but with the goal in his sights, the midfielder decided to square for Fenwick and lost out to a defender.
Pools were soon back involved at the other end of the pitch as Wycombe enjoyed their own spell of pressure; there was a real battle inside the box with both Harrison and Jackson getting in the way to block shots.
The Pools central defensive pair were on form this afternoon – and they had to be against the presence of Gozie Ugwu.
Trevor Carson played his part with an unbelievable save to tip a Aaron Pierre shot over the bar as the pressure mounted.
Pools lost some of their confidence as the game went on and Wycombe upped their threat on goal, and there was some desperate defending to hold on to the lead.
Harrison and Jackson won headers they shouldn’t have, there were last-gasp blocks, deflections, clearances – all to keep out a determined Wycombe Wanderers.
As the minutes ticked away, Moore’s side struggled to make it out of their own half as they clung on desperately to the three points, with every player in blue and white throwing their body in the way of shots from the visitors at one point.
The final minutes here at The Vic were frantic as Pools battled hard to keep Wycombe Wanderers at bay and this fight paid off for Ronnie Moore's side as the took three big points from an entertaining match.
This win gets 2016 in the league off to a great start for Pools and brings to an end a run of eight successive victories for the visitors over Pools.
Full Time: Pools 1 Wycombe Wanderers 0
Attendance: 3721 (152 Wycombe Wanderers)
Booked: Jackson (43)
Pools: Carson, Richards, Harrison, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Woods, Gray (Bingham 77), Oates, Fenwick, Thomas (Hawkins 55).
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Jones, Walker, Oyenuga, Smith.
Wycombe Wanderers: Ingram, Jacobson, Stewart, Pierre, Thompson (Amadi-Holoway 68), Bloomfield (Hayes 79), Wood, Harriman, O'Nien, McCarthy (Udumaga 68) Ugwu.
Subs Not Used: Lynch, Jombati, Bean, McGinn