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Reserves Maintain Their Winning Start

12 October 2016

Rhys Oates struck a hat-trick and Michael Woods played over an hour on his return from injury as Pools Reserves continued their perfect start to the new campaign at Mansfield Town on Wednesday.

Sam Collins’ men were going in to the game against The Stags in excellent form, having won all three of their opening fixture of the season and scored nine goals in the process.

On the other hand, Town were coming off the back of a disappointing 6-2 defeat at home to Grimsby Town so were looking for a big improvement.

Pools wasted no time getting on the front foot and opened the scoring with less than ten minutes on the clock when Brad Walker fed Rhys Oates through on goal and he converted at the second attempt after his first shot came back off the post.

Collins’ young side survived a scare at the other end before doubling their lead just after the quarter-hour mark; this time Oates turned provider as he ghosted past the full-back to send a ball across for Walker to convert from close-range.

Despite going two down, Mansfield continued to look a threat and force a remarkable triple save from Pools keeper Ben Dudzinski who was then thankful to trialist defender Harly Wise when he cleared another effort off the line.

Town made that pressure pay when they pulled a goal back midway through the first half when midfielder Jack Thomas celebrated his return from injury by scoring after good work from Adriel George.

James Baxendale then came close to levelling things up for the hosts but struck a shot wide, while Walker almost claimed his second goal of the game after dribbling round two defenders but he couldn’t find the target at the end of it.

However, just before the break Pools did restore their two-goal advantage as excellent wing-play from Jack Blackford saw him drive to the byline and pull a ball back across for Josh Hawkes to make it 3-1.

Walker struck another effort just wide shortly after the restart but Pools didn’t have to wait long for their fourth goal; Woods delivered a corner in to the box and Oates climbed highest to direct his header in to the net.

Stags keeper Adam Hassan prevented Walker making it 5-1 shortly afterwards with a smart save following great work from Hawkes in the build-up.

However, Oates was proving lethal in front of goal and he did notch Pools’ fifth of the afternoon just after the hour mark when he ran on to young full-back Kenton Richardson’s pinpoint cross in to the box.

Substitute Liam Travers had a chance to make it 6-1 late on but the keeper blocked his shot, while Ben Pollock had to alert to deny the home side a consolation goal when he cleared off the line.

Full Time: Mansfield Town 1 Pools 5

Pools: Dudzinski, Richardson, Pollock, Wise (Fielding 85), Turnbull, Oates, Skidmore (L Orrell 85), Walker, Blackford, Woods (Travers 65), Hawkes (Wood 77).
Moloney.Subs not used:

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