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Match Reports

Laing Goal Seals Win For Pools

17 April 2018

Louis Laing goal Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Louis Laing watches his header beat the Orient keeper and head for goal.

Louis Laing got the only goal of the game as Pools battled all the way against a strong Leyton Orient side to win the three points.

And the win means that Pools are now clear of relegation and will compete in the National League for 2018/19.

Pools took the majority of the first half to put together any real possession but were the team that went in ahead at the break.

Leyton Orient looked strong from the off and spent much of the opening period camped in Pools’ half.

With five minutes on the clock, the visitors were causing problems in the box with their second corner of the game. The ball in from the left bounced around the area like a pinball before Josh Koroma got enough on it to send it goalwards but fortunately Scott Loach was on alert to collect.

While Orient were hardworking and pressed Pools, chasing down and attacking with intent, Pools looked nervy in the opening minutes and struggled to string a series of passes together.

James Brophy cut inside on the edge of the box to get a shot on goal but his scuffed effort was easy for Loach.

Pools won their first corner of the game on 16 minutes when Ryan Donaldson battled between the last two men to win his side the kick. Michael Woods took it from the left and picked out Jake Cassidy in the middle of the crowd but the striker saw his headed effort cleared off the line.

There were a couple more chances for the busy Macauley McAnuff, but both were stopped by Loach, before Pools started to find their way into this game.

With just over half an hour gone, Jake Cassidy did well to force his way between two defenders and go through into the box. The Pools striker was denied by Orient keeper Dean Brill who blocked bravely on the edge of the area but was injured in the process.

And Pools used the keeper’s treatment time wisely, gathering around the dugout for instruction from Matthew Bates – and his words seemed to work.

There was more pressure from the hosts who finally started to put some pressure on the visiting defence before opening the scoring on 39 minutes.

A freekick in from Woods on the left went deep to the far post where Louis Laing met it with a perfect looping header that sailed over Brill and dipped into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Pools.

Orient started the second half brightly too and went desperately close to equalising inside the first ten minutes; a corner in from the left again causes a scramble in the box and Pools have to clear it off the line and then as it is put back in by Daniel Happe, his effort strikes the bar on its way across goal.

Pools once again faced some real pressure in the opening 20 minutes of the half, with Laing putting in a couple of crucial clearances to ease the tension for his side.

A freekick from the left picked out Bonne in a crowded penalty area but his header from six yards went over the Pools bar on 71 minutes, while Josh Koroma’s fierce ball across the face of goal was powerfully headed away by Carl Magnay.

And the visitors maintained their dominance into the final ten minutes of the game, making for a tense finish at The Vic.

Jobi McAnuff watched as his drive at goal took a deflection off David Mooney before the lively Bonne struck a powerful shot from distance that rose over the bar.

Lamar Reynolds jinked his way into the box to get a shot in from a narrow angle but his shot took a deflection on its way and thankfully found only the side netting. 

With the visitors upping the pressure as the minutes ticked away, Magnay blocked one, Laing got his head in the way of another and Lewis Hawkins headed a Marvin Ekpiteta effort off the line. 

There were four minutes of added time and they were just as action-packed, with Pools reduced to ten men when Devante Rodney picked up a second yellow card for a late challenge.

But Pools battled hard to the end, with Magnay and Laing solid at the back and hung on to take the three points that guarantee their position in the National League next season. 

Full Time: Pools 1 Leyton Orient 

Attendance: 2656 (84 Leyton Orient)

Booked: Woods (22), Rodney (79), Newton (90)
Sent Off: Rodney (90).

Pools: Loach, Hawkins, Laing, Magnay, Adams, Featherstone, Woods (Oates 46), Newton, Hawkes (Rodney 69), Cassidy, Donaldson.
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Munns.

Leyton Orient: Brill, Widdowson, Elokobi (Happe 45), McAnuff, Bonne, Koroma, Ekpiteta, Clay (Mooney 68), Brophy (Reynolds 46), Adams, Ling.
Subs Not Used: Grainger, Judd.

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