Defeat For Pools At Wycombe
Pools were condemned to their fourth consecutive away defeat as a double from Scott Kashket handed Wycombe Wanderers all three points at Adams Park.
Craig Hignett had opted to keep an unchanged starting eleven following the midweek win over Accrington Stanley, continuing with three at the back for the trip to Buckinghamshire.
Pools began the game right on the front foot and could even have opened the scoring when James Martin stormed down the left and drilled a cross towards the edge of the six-yard area but Lewis Alessandra just failed to add the decisive touch.
Wanderers started to earn more of the ball as the minutes ticked by and Martin was almost punished for losing the ball inside his own area but Scott Kashket lashed his effort in to the side-netting.
Alessandra’s cheeky quick free-kick from the halfway line almost caught out home keeper Jamal Blackman, who had to stretch to collect the goalbound effort.
However, after that it was the hosts who took control and they opened the scoring on 24 minutes when Luke O’Nien was allowed to deliver a low cross from the right and Kashket skilfully swivelled on it at the front post and produced a low finish past the helpless Trevor Carson.
A great counter-attack from Pools set-up by a lovely dummy from Nicky Deverdics produced a chance for Martin to cross but his delivery was headed wide by Padraig Amond after the front man had done well to find space in the box.
Adebayo Akinfenwa was the focal point for the home side’s attack and he headed wastefully wide at the other end, while Kaskket saw another effort deflected off target after good link-up with the Wanderers’ target man.
From the resultant Joe Jacobson corner, Scott Harrison could only head back towards his own goal where Matthew Bates did well to scramble it clear as the hosts turned up the heat on Craig Hignett’s men.
Akinfenwa had another good chance to score when Pools dealt with a right-wing corner only for the ball to be immediately whipped back in from the left where the big striker nodded off-target again.
Pools rallied a little as the half time whistle approached with some clever play from Alessandra, Josh Laurent and Lewis Hawkins around the edge of the Wycombe box but they couldn’t find a route to goal and went in at the break a goal down.
Paul Hayes – a man who had scored eight goals against Pools in previous years – had the first attempt of the second half but his volley from twenty yards was always going too high.
Matt Bloomfield then wriggled clear on the right edge of the box after some good build-up play but he saw his powerful strike charged down and Pools were able to clear.
Jacobson picked out Akinfenwa from the right-wing free-kick but again the striker’s header was off-target, while Bloomfield warmed Carson’s hands with a drive from twenty yards after darting in from the right flank.
Pools were struggling to create at the other end but had a half-chance when Scott Harrison’s deep ball from the right found Amond at the far post but his header back across goal was cleared by the home defence.
There was a let-off for Hignett’s side at the other end when a ball forward fell kindly for Akinfenwa on the edge of the box but his low effort came back off the base of the post and Pools survived.
Pools did manage to break dangerously on the counter-attack when Carson’s quick ball found Paynter who nodded it down to Alessandra; he drove at the home defence and slipped Woods in down the left only for the substitute to curl an effort over the bar with Paynter and Amond left frustrated in the middle.
With ten minutes remaining Wanderers were able to kill the game off when a ball was clipped over the Pools defence and, with several players appealing for offside, Kashket ran in behind and finished calmly to make it 2-0.
Full Time: Wycombe Wanderers 2 Pools 0
Booked: Harrison (90), Nsiala (90).
Wycombe Wanderers: Blackman, Harriman, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson, Bloomfield (Bean 82) ,O’Nien, Gape, Kashket, Akinfenwa (Thompson 82), Hayes (Wood 73).
Subs Not Used: Jombati, Richardson, Freeman, De Havilland.
Pools: Carson, Hawkins (Woods 63), Harrison, Bates, Nsiala, Martin, Featherstone, Laurent, Deverdics (Paynter 67), Alessandra (Oates 85), Amond.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Jones, Richards, Carroll.