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Match Reports

All Square At The Vic

21 April 2018

Ryan Donaldson Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Ryan Donaldson in action against Torquay United.

Pools conceded a second-half equaliser to share the points with Torquay United at Victoria Park.

Ryan Donaldson put Pools 1-0 up in the 14th minute of a fairly even first half but the visitors, who were battling to avoid relegation this afternoon, rallied after the break and upped the pressure on Matthew Bates' side to take a point. 

The visitors had a penalty shout turned away inside the first couple of minutes and were quickly facing pressure at the other end.

Rhys Oates forced his way down the left before cutting inside and sending a shot at goal, which was parried well by Vincent Dorel.

And with just fourteen minutes on the clock, Pools took the lead; Ryan Donaldson picked up possession just outside the box and sent a low drive at goal. Whether his original effort was heading goalwards or not mattered little as it took a big deflection off a Gulls man, which wrongfooted the keeper and the ball hit the back of the net.

Just over ten minutes later and the visitors had a great chance to draw level as Louis Laing was harshly ruled to have committed a foul inside the area as the referee awarded a penalty kick.

Brett Williams stepped up to take the kick, which he powered at goal but was not beating Scott Loach who pulled off a great block to keep it out and then Aaron Barnes arrived to send the rebound wide.

The first half was comfortable for Pools really, with only the occasional threat at the other end. Blair Adams got up well to head clear a cross in from the left, while Rhys Healey fired high over the bar on the volley.

Jamie Reid picked up the ball 30 yards out and fired a low drive through the box but that went wide of Loach’s right-hand post.

Jake Cassidy was the next to threaten for Pools just before half time as he pushed down the left on a determined run but saw his final ball put out for a corner, which the visitors were able to clear.

Torquay had a couple of shots early in the second half but Scott Loach was not tested as both Reid and Williams fired high over the bar.

Jack Munns fizzed a teasing freekick in from the left which caused a panic in the box but Dorel was able to parry and the ball was cleared back out.

The visitors kept plugging away and creating shots on goal, though most were from a distance, with both McGinty and Healey sending shots wide of target.

Scott Loach was called into action just before 70 minutes when he pulled off a great save at full stretch to push over a fierce effort from Healey, who went on to miss a great chance from close range shortly after.

Brett Williams hit the angle of the goal with a header from close range as Torquay continued to press in search of an equaliser.

Jamie Reid, who seemed most intent on scoring for the visitors, tried his luck again on 75 minutes but was denied by Loach who pulled off another strong save to push it out.

Pools were down to ten men with ten minutes remaining as debutant Aaron Cunningham was shown a straight red card for tackle, bringing his first appearance for the Club to an early end.

And the visitors took almost instant advantage of the extra man as Rhys Healey finally found the shot to beat Loach and made it 1-1.

The game remained level, despite five minutes of added time as Pools finished their home campaign of 2017/18 with a draw. The result also saw Torquay United relegated from the National League. 

Full Time: Pools 1 Torquay United 1 

Attendance: 3244 (152 Torquay United)

Booked: Newton (5), Cassidy (83)

Off: Cunningham (80)

Pools: Loach, Hawkins, Harrison, Laing, Adams, Featherstone, Newton (Munns 22), Hawkes, Donaldson, Cassidy, Oates (Cunningham 65).
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Orrell, Owen.

Torquay United: Dorel, Davis, McGinty, Gowling, Young, Reid, Barnes (Efete 79), Balatoni (Dowling 63), Healey, Evans, Williams (Keating 84).
Subs Not Used: Clarke, Kulowski.

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