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Match Reports

Pools Held At Bay In Friendly

29 July 2017

Hillheads Park
Whitley Bay play their games at Hillheads Park

Pools were made to settle for a draw in their final friendly of pre-season as they were held 1-1 by Whitley Bay at Hillheads Park on Saturday.

Craig Harrison included Jake Cassidy, Nicky Featherstone and Luke George in his starting eleven as the trio attempted to build their match fitness after injury problems.

There were also places for trialists Jonathan Franks, Lewis Maloney, Junior Mondal and Kosovar Sadiki in the starting eleven for the game.

Pools got off to an ideal start when Maloney drove in to space twenty-five yards out before hitting a crisp shot which whistled past the keeper and in to the net to make it 1-0.

The early goal encouraged Harrison’s men and they could have doubled their lead just afterwards when Franks let fly with a drive which the keeper did well to push over the bar.

Mondal was causing a few problems on the left and he linked up well with Franks to create an opening for Jake Cassidy but the big striker’s effort was held by the keeper.

Former Boro man Mondal then had an opportunity of his own when he ran to an incisive through ball from Nicky Featherstone but again the keeper did well and blocked the shot.

Nicky Deverdics produced a moment of brilliant skill to dance his way in to the right of the box and feed Cassidy but this time the striker saw two shots blocked and Bay just about cleared the danger.

There was almost a fortunate second for Pools at the start of the second half when Franks’ cross from the right drifted over the keeper and came back out off the inside of the post.

It proved a pivotal moment because not long afterwards the game was level. Young defender Jacob Owen had been introduced at half time but misjudged a challenge in the area and Callum Patton converted the penalty for the hosts.

Liam Donnelly came close to restoring Pools’ lead when he got forward well down the right but, after cutting inside, his venomous effort flew just too high.

Cassidy brought another fine finger-tip save from the keeper when he met Deverdics’ cross from the right, while Donnelly came close again when he drilled wide from just inside the area.

The Bay finished the game strongly and looked a threat in the final fifteen minutes but couldn’t find a breakthrough and the sides were forced to settle for a draw.

Full Time: Whitley Bay 1 Pools 1

Pools: Catterick, Richardson, George (Owen 46), Sadiki, Donnelly, Maloney, Deverdics, Featherstone (Rodney 76), Mondal, Franks (Blackford 73), Cassidy.
Subs not used: Weirs, Halliday, Orrell, Simpson.

Attendance: 405

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