Pools Fall To Exeter Defeat
A goal in either half proved enough for visitors Exeter City to take the three points from a below-par Pools this afternoon.
Ronnie Moore's side failed to really get going on a quiet afternoon at Victoria Park and Exeter City played a patient game to take the points.
It was a first half lacking in entertainment as the swirling wind also played its part at Victoria Park this afternoon.
While Pools saw plenty of the ball in the first 45 minutes, they failed to really threaten Bobby Olejnik’s goal with anything of note.
Trevor Caron made a great save on 12 minutes as Exeter City got their first glimpse of goal; Tom McCready sent a good effort towards the Pools keeper’s net but Carson got up well to tip it round the post for a corner.
At the other end Jordan Richards won a corner with one of a number of testing crosses from the right but the following kick was dealt with comfortably.
Jake Carroll sent a well-taken freekick into the box from the right but his effort sailed through the box untested and went out at the far post.
Michael Woods and Rakish Bingham linked up well on the edge of the box before the latter flicked the ball into the box for Woods to run onto but with the goal in his sights, the midfielder was muscled off the ball by Troy Brown who took it away from danger.
Pools continued to see most of the ball as the half progressed but there was no spark in the final third to threaten a goal and Exeter City took advantage.
On 36 minutes Exeter broke from deep inside their own half to open the scoring and were allowed the space to do it. A ball into the box picked out Alex Nicholls who sent a flicked header past an out-stretched Trevor Carson to make it 1-0.
The visitors had a good chance to double their lead before the break as Jayden Stockley sent a glancing header at goal but his effort went just wide of the far post.
Pools went in a goal behind at the break and needed more of a spark if they were to get anything from this game and to lift the fans who met the half-time whistle with boos.
Sub Nathan Thomas, on in place of the injured Rhys Oates, looked to provide that spark on 51 minutes as he burst in from the left to shoot on goal but his effort went through a crowd and wide of target.
But with an hour on the clock, Pools had done little else to threaten an equaliser and with the game looking very flat, Ronnie Moore made two changes.
Both Billy Paynter and Carl Magnay made their returns from injury to join the game, with Nicky Featherstone and Michael Woods making way.
Another cross in from Nathan Thomas gave Pools an opening but his pacy ball into the box was just nicked away from Paynter and put into the arms of Olejnik.
Magnay and Paynter offered Pools more bite and this started to tell as Moore’s men put more balls into the box.
A Jordan Richards cross from the right made its way to the far post where Nathan Thomas sent it high before Jake Carroll’s freekick, again from the right, was headed over by the defender under pressure from Bingham.
Another decent cross in from Thomas, who was starting to find more space on the left, picked out Bingham close to goal but there was just too much height on it and it cannoned off the striker and over the bar.
Richards crossed in again from the right into a busy area but with the ball bobbling around, Lewis Hawkins saw a hopeful strike deflected wide.
Jake Carroll tried a shot from distance that was held by Olejnik on the floor but Pools were finally causing the visiting defence a few problems.
But while Pools were busy trying to score at one end, Exeter broke up field to put the ball over the line as Joel Grant hit one in off the underside of the bar to make it 2-0 on 85 minutes.
And so it was game over for Pools on what was a poor performance from Moore's side who know they need more from home matches.
Full Time: Pools 0 Exeter City 2
Booked: Harrison (79)
Attendance: 3678 (107 Exeter City)
Pools: Carson, Richards, Harrison, Jackson, Carroll, Woods (Paynter 64), Featherstone (Magnay 64), Gray, Hawkins, Bingham, Oates (Thomas 33).
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Jones, Walker, Fenwick.
Exeter City: Olejnik, McAllister, Ribeiro, Oakley, Holmes (Davies 60), Nicholls, McCready, Tillson, Grant, Stockley, Brown.
Subs Not Used: Butterfield, Reid, Wheeler, Watkins, Taylor.