Pools Make It Two In A Row
Pools came from behind to beat Exeter City 3-1 to record successive wins for the first time this season.
Dave Jones's side once again came to life in the second half of this afternoon's game, with another two goals from Lewis Alessandra and another strike from top scorer Padraig Amond overturning a first-half opener from the visitors.
After a competitive start to the game, Pools were just second best for much of the first half as Exeter City looked a bigger threat going forward.
The visitors should have taken the lead after just ten minutes when Reuben Reid unleashed a powerful volley at goal which was well blocked by Joe Fryer. But David Wheeler picked up the rebound just six yards out and, with an empty net ahead, looked set to hit home.
But the Exeter man put too much on his effort and saw the ball crash against the bar, before Brad Walker arrived to head clear off the line.
Just four minutes later and the Grecians were ahead; the in-form Ollie Watkins kept Sean Kavanagh at arm’s length as he forced his way into the box where he sent a thunderous low drive past Fryer and into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
Nathan Thomas looked the most likely to offer Pools an avenue back into the game as he opened up down the left wing on a few occasions but he found the visiting defenders tough to break through.
Kenton Richardson joined the action on the half-hour mark in place of Sean Kavanagh who went off injured and the young full-back looked assured in his display, linking play up nicely down the right.
Padraig Amond who was leading the line, cut an isolated figure for much of the first half as Pools struggled to get up to support him, meaning there was little to test Bobby Olejnik in the opening 45 minutes.
While Fryer had few saves to make himself following the goal, the front two of Reid and Watkins were a real nuisance and gave Pools’ new-look defence plenty of work to do.
Pools showed a little more positivity following half-time and a Rhys Oates run down the right did enough to get the crowd cheering him on, while the forward sent a decent cross in from the right which picked out Amond but he just couldn’t get the power on his header to beat Olejnik.
Exeter City went on to enjoy a spell of real pressure in what proved to be a key period of the game as Pools managed to keep them at bay before taking the advantage themselves.
When Padraig Amond picked up the ball through the middle just after the hour mark, he set off running at goal, before playing it out to Nathan Thomas to his right. Thomas played a great ball across which found its way to Lewis Alessandra who equalised with a great finish, his third goal in two games.
And just minutes later, Amond found the net himself and again it was in some style; great determined play from Man of the Match Rhys Oates set it up as the forward forced his way through, leaving a defender on the ground before picking out Amond to his left. And Pools’ top scorer made no mistake with a well-taken finish which left Olejnik with no chance and made it 2-1.
Thomas played it up for Amond as Pools looked to make the win safe, but the striker just saw his strike scrape wide of target this time.
Pools were looking a real threat on the break now and went close again as Oates again turned provider, this time sending Alessandra running in on goal. He did well to cut in from the left but sent his shot over the bar.
Exeter City had a couple of late calls for a penalty but the referee showed little interest, while Kenton Richardson put in a great challenge inside the box to deny Joel Grant inside the box.
But it was Pools - and Lewis Alessandra in particular - who had the final say this afternoon as he fired home his second goal of the game to make it 3-1 on 90 minutes, another big win for Dave Jones's men and the first time this season Pools have recorded back-to-back wins.
Full Time: Pools 3 Exeter City 1
Booked: Thomas (93)
Attendance: 3775 (166 Exeter City)
Pools: Fryer, Donnelly, Harrison, Walker, Kavanagh (Richardson 28), Featherstone, Woods (Hawkins 58), Alessandra, Oates (Hawkes 94), Amond, Thomas.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Bates, Hawkes, Hawkins, Orrell, Rooney.
Exeter City: Olejnik, Woodman (Sweeney 86), James, Harley, Wheeler, Watkins, Moore-Taylor, Taylor (Grant 79), Stacey, Reid (McAlinden 65), Brown.
Subs Not Used: Archibald-Henville, Tillson, Hamon, Croll.