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Match Reports

Simpson Goal Rounds Off Victory For Pools

2 September 2017

Players celebrating a goal Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
The players celebrate a goal against Maidstone

Pools made it two wins in a row with a convincing and well-deserved 3-1 win over Maidstone United at The Vic.

A first-half strike from Keith Watson were added to in the second half by Jonathan Franks and 17-year-old Connor Simpson as Craig Harrison's side picked up another three points this afternoon.

Pools put in their best first-half display so far here at The Vic as the home fans were thoroughly entertained.

Devante Rodney and Connor Simpson, making his first start for the Club, combined early on for the first real chance of the game; after picking up possession from Simpson, Rodney powered towards the box to send a powerful drive goalwards. This shot pulled a good early save from Lee Worgan but signalled the start of some strong pressure from Pools.

Nicky Deverdics flicked the ball across the face of goal just after, with the ball just waiting on a touch to send it over the line but despite Simpson’s best efforts, the ball escaped unchallenged.

Deverdics, who was lively down the left, sent a cross into the middle which was met by Jonathan Franks on the edge of the box as he sent an acrobatic header at goal, forcing Worgan into another save.

And Deverdics fed the ball up for Franks again shortly after, who went on to send a dangerous cross into the box. This time it was Lewis Hawkins battling to get in there to meet the cross but he was unable to get enough on it and Worgan collected.

Rodney was next to get involved, putting in a great shift down the right for Pools this afternoon and causing Maidstone all kinds of problems. He got stuck in on 18 minutes, shaking off his defender to force his way into the box, seeing his final ball deflected out for a corner.

And Pools made a deserved breakthrough from the corner; Deverdics sent the corner in from the right and, while the ball was at first cleared out to the edge of the box, Hawkins made sure it went back into the mix and defender Keith Watson was in the right place to send it past Worgan and into the bottom corner of the net.

Harrison’s side really did dominate the first half and could well have had more goals. Deverdics tried his luck with a freekick from 30 yards, driving it at goal with the target in sight but he was denied by a good save from Worgan.

Michael Woods took the next freekick for Pools, but the midfielder saw his chipped effort defelcted out for another corner. Michael Ledger got on the end of that corner kick but his header went just wide of the far post.

The efforts on the pitch were reflected off it as the home fans really showed their appreciation for the positive football being played as Franks went close with a header, from another of Deverdics’ dangerous.

The visitors had a glimpse of possession late in the half with Joe Pigott sending a freekick high over the bar and Scott Loach making two important saves to clear the danger as the ball bounced about his box.

But it was Pools who had the last of the ball in the first half and it was Devante Rodney who had the final shot of the game, bursting through to win his side a final-minute corner.

Pools took a single-goal lead into the break and, while their pressure deserved more, Harrison’s side went in at half time well on top.

Maidstone looked more of a threat in the early second-half action and dominated the opening ten minutes and Pools saw little of the ball going forward.

But when Pools did get forward on 57 minutes, they really made it count; Deverdics was involved again as he burst down the left to send a cross into the box. Jonathan Franks ran in at the far post and sent his header past Worgan to make it 2-0 to Pools.

Scott Loach made his mark on the game again shortly after the goal, pulling off another great one-handed save to deny Joe Pigott from close range.

Maidstone continued to see more of the ball in this second half and there was a great challenge from Ledger on Pigott on 65 minutes to prevent the shot going in on goal.

Ryan Donaldson, on for Rodney, burst forward and into the box looking to add his name to the tally but his final shot was blocked well by Worgan.

But the visiting keeper wasn’t as lucky with the next effort as Franks teased his way in to cross another one into the box and this time young striker Connor Simpson, making his first ever start for the Club, was on hand to send a header into the back of the net.

Maidstone United got a late consolation goal through Johan Ter Horst but it was not enough to dampen the spirit inside the ground as Pools picked up their second successive win. 

It was a real team performance this afternoon and Pools dug in in all areas to get a deserved victory on a sunny afternoon at Victoria Park. 

Full Time: Pools 3 Maidstone United 1

Attendance: 4137 (147 Maidstone United) 

Booked: Watson (43), Hawkins (64)

Pools: Loach, Magnay, Watson, Ledger, Deverdics, Featherstone, Woods, Hawkins, Rodney (Donaldson 62), Simpson (Oates 79), Franks.
Subs Not Used: Munns, Richardson, Newton.

Maidstone United: Worgan, Hare, Wynter, Okuonghae, Lewis, Sam-Yorke (Horst 76), Paxman, Anderson, Reason (Richards 58), Hines (Wright 79), Pigott.
Subs Not Used: Finney, Prestedge.


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