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Match Reports

Second Draw For Pools And Gateshead

1 January 2018

Pools were twice pegged back by Gateshead in this New Year's Day fixture and once again the points were shared.

Keith Watson scored in either half on his return to the starting eleven but on both occassions, the visitors found a response and the game finished at 2-2. 

With Keith Watson and Michael Ledger back in the centre of defence for Pools, there was a renewed confidence about the team in the opening minutes.

And the positive start paid off as Harrison’s men opened the scoring after just seven minutes, with a goal courtesy of returning defender Watson.

Nicky Deverdics delivered a great freekick into the box from the left, which was flicked on by Liam Donnelly for Watson who got in at the far post to send it past Dan Hanford and mark his return to the eleven in the perfect way.

Jonathan Franks cut in from the right as Pools continued the bright start and he sent a shot at goal from a tight angle that went wide of the near post.

Pools were looking confident and assured in possession for a spell and knocked the ball about well for the opening 15 minutes, giving Gateshead little sight of the ball.

But the visitors played a patient game and gradually forced their way into the game, which became much more of a balanced affair.

Paddy McLaughlin won the ball in a very strong challenge with Liam Donnelly to play it through for the lively Richard Peniket. He forced his way to the by-line to fire a shot on goal but a combination of Michael Ledger and Scott Loach did enough to force him wide.

Luke Hannant was next up to try his luck with a shot in from distance, but Loach did enough to block the shot.

Deverdics, who was a threat with his delivery from set pieces again this afternoon, sent another good ball in from a corner. His cross again picked out Keith Watson at the far post but this time the defender saw his header go over the bar.

The game began to drift in the final ten minutes and Gateshead could clearly sense a way back into the game – and it came on 41 minutes.

Jordan Preston sent a teasing cross in from the left which bounced low across the box, taking a touch off Peniket on its way into the bottom corner of Loach’s goal to make it 1-1.

There was one more chance for Pools before the break and again Deverdics was involved. This time the left back went for goal with a freekick, blasting an effort through the box which was spilled by Hanford before a defender did enough to poke the ball out of play.

Gateshead came out strongly after the break and Pools had some defending to do early in the second half, with Liam Donnelly strong at the back to clear the danger and Rhys Oates helping out to head clear from a corner.

After being second best for the opening ten minutes of the half, Pools had a great chance to re-take the lead after an attack lead by Lewis Hawkins. The midfielder forced his way upfield before sending the ball out right for Devante Rodney, who sent a teasing ball right across the face of goal which only just missed the outstretched foot of Jake Cassidy at the near post before it rolled wide.

Just minutes later and there was another chance for Harrison’s side. Jonathan Franks started the move off which picked out Liam Donnelly bursting forward down the right to send another teasing ball across the box which this time just evaded the attentions of Rodney.

Rhys Oates did well to hold off the attentions of two defenders to turn and fire a shot at goal which pulled a good save from Hanford at full stretch.

And then from the resulting corner, Deverdics and Watson combined again to give Pools the lead once more. A corner in from the left again picked out the defender in space and this time he fired a sweetly-struck volley into the back of the net to make it 2-1 to Pools.

Gateshead went close to equalising on 75 minutes as Paddy McLaughlin unleashed a great strike from 20 yards that had Loach at full-stretch but hit the crossbar and bounced back into play, where Donnelly was bundled over as he reached the ball first.

The visitors got the leveller less than five minutes later through substitute Wes York, who was in the right position to meet Hannant’s cross into the box and he put it past Loach to make it 2-2.

The visitors went desperately close to getting a third shortly after with a lovely chipped effort from Hannant which had Loach beaten but once again the woodwork came to the rescue as the ball bounces back off the underside of the bar.

There were five minutes of added time but that wasn't enough for Pools to find another goal to take the three points and once again the two sides played out a 2-2 draw. 

Full Time: Pools 2 Gateshead 2

Booked: Deverdics (24), Donnelly (89)

Attendance: 3241 (352 Gateshead)

Pools: Loach, Donnelly, Ledger, Watson, Deverdics, Woods, Hawkins, Franks, Oates (Munns 71), Cassidy (Simpson 87), Rodney (Adeloye 86).
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Laing.

Gateshead: Hanford, Byrne, Vassell,Tinkler, McLaughlin, Penn (Johnson 65), Hannant, Barrow, Burrown, Preston (York 75), Peniket.
Subs Not Used: Montgomery, Fyfield, Williams. 

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