All Square Between Pools And Morecambe
Dave Jones's side had to settle for a point in a game of two halves at The Globe Arena this afternoon.
Padraig Amond gave Pools the lead in a first half dominated by Pools but it was a different story after half time as Morecambe dug in to get the equaliser and controlled much of the second forty-five minutes.
Pools looked positive from the off and there was an early chance for Padraig Amond to open the scoring against his former club when he took advantage of some hesitancy amongst the home defence to nip through on goal. Danijel Nizic reacted quickly to block the effort though and deny Amond and Pools the perfect start.
Michael Woods was responsible for taking corners from the left this afternoon and he found himself with plenty to take in a busy first half; Rhys Oates rose to meet the first but just lost out to Nizic who punched the ball well clear, while Amond headed another into the side netting.
In a lively start to the game, Pools looked the brightest going forward and there was some good play between Nathan Thomas and Amond down the left which eventually saw the ball fall to Nicky Featherstone, who sent his shot over the bar.
Thomas showed his quick feet with some trickery to force the team forward before being tripped on the edge of the box. Brad Walker stepped up to take it but saw his effort hit the wall and bounce back out to Thomas and he sent a volleyed effort back at goal, which was held by Nizic.
Scott Harrison arrived to meet another Woods corner , showing a good touch to take the ball down on his chest before powering a volley at goal, which went just wide of the far post as Pools continued to look for that opening goal.
Oates got on the end of yet another corner to send a header just over the bar before the forward was set up by Lewis Alessandra for a shot on goal. This time though Oates saw his low drive held by Nizic.
The goal arrived on 40 minutes and it showed that bit of quality Pools had been looking for; Michael Woods started the move by picking out Alessandra just outside the box. He did well to poke the ball through into the box for Amond who sent a clinical effort past Nizic and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Jones’s side.
Morecambe saved their best chance of the half until the final minute as Paul Mullin forced his way past Scott Harrison on the right of the area to push into the box and shoot at goal. Joe Fryer, who had been untested until then reacted well and made a good block to keep the effort out as Pools took their lead into the break.
The second half was more even to start with the hosts seeing more of the ball in the attacking third than they had in the first 45 minutes – meaning Pools had more defending to do.
Brad Walker put in decent block before stepping up and sending the ball upfield, before getting himself in the way of the Morecambe corner to flick a header away from goal.
Pools were soon up the other end of the field trying to add to their opening goal; Rhys Oates showed real determination to battle with two Morecambe defenders and finally get the ball in to Amond in a central position in the box but the striker saw his shot blocked.
With ten minutes of the second half gone, Morecambe got the equalising goal through Mullin; with Harrison flicking the corner away at the first attempt and Walker clearing the next effort off the line, Pools looked to have dealt with it but a ball back in to the mix was finished by Mullin and Pools had more work to do.
With Morecambe on top following the goal, Joe Fryer had a couple of saves to make to keep Pools in it; the on-loan keeper first made a good save to deny Ellison before collecting a header from Michael Rose.
Pools were under real pressure for a spell following the goal and just couldn’t get out of their own half; after being in control of the first team, Jones’s side just lacked that belief following the equaliser as Morecambe grew in confidence.
Another corner for the hosts found its way through to Kevin Ellison who was in space at the far post but the big striker sent it high over the bar as he stretched to make the shot.
Rhys Oates gave Pools a break from defender as he again battled his way into the box, fighting to get the cross in from the right. His determination won his side a corner but the hosts cleared the set piece.
Dan Molyneux, on as a sub for the hosts in the second half, made a real difference to the game and he tried his luck with a low shot on goal, which pulled another save from Fryer.
After struggling to get forward for much of the half, Pools finished the game the stronger of the two teams - though neither side looked ready to settle for a point.
Nicky Featherstone found himself through into the box but tried to play in Amond to his left instead of shooting himself and this allowed Nizic to pounce and clear the ball.
Pools also had a late penalty call waved away with a loud appeal for handball inside the box but the official waved it away and play continued.
And so Pools had to settle for a point from a lively game at The Globe Arena.
Attendance: 1548 (436 Pools)
Full Time: Morecambe 1 Hartlepool United 1
Morecambe: Nizic, McGowan, Edwards, Mullin, Ellison, Whitmore, Fleming, Turner (Wildig), Duckworth, Evans (Molyneux), Rose.
Subs Not Used: Maher, Wakefield, Winnard, Murphy, Jordan.
Pools: Fryer, Richardson, Harrison, Walker, Donnelly, Featherstone, Woods, Alessandra (Rodney 81), Oates (Deverdics 93), Amond, Thomas.
Subs Not Used: Dudzinski, Bates, Magnay, Hawkins, Rooney.