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Match Reports

Pre-Season Draw At The Vic

14 July 2018

Niko Muir Simon Moore, Shutter Press
Niko Muir makes it 1-0 to Pools.

Pools and Sunderland played out a 1-1 draw in what is becoming an annual pre-season meeting at Victoria Park.

Pools took an early lead on a hot afternoon at Victoria Park as Niko Muir got off the mark inside the opening 20 minutes.

A slip by Sunderland defender Donald Love was taken full advantage of by Muir who skipped into the box with the ball before lifting it calmly over Jon McLaughlin in the visiting goal to make it 1-0 to Pools.

Sunderland had the greater share of possession but failed to turn that into any real chances to test Scott Loach in the first half – to the frustration of many of the travelling army of 2233 supporters.

Lynden Gooch headed one wide after good build-up from George Honeyman down the right, while Callum McManaman sent a teasing cross into the box that proved too high for his teammates.

Josh Hawkes picked out Kenton Richardson with a ball across the area after a neat long-ball from Liam Noble but the full-back saw his shot hit the side netting from a tight angle.

Muir did well to steal possession from a defender on the edge of the area to feed it out to Hawkes but his deep cross into the box found Mark Kitching at full-stretch and he sent his effort high.

The visitors had a late chance through Gooch to level before the break but he watched his header go just wide.

Josh Maja had a couple of early chances for the visitors in the second half  but after sending his first wide, the Sunderland man was denied by Scott Loach with his second as the Pools keeper reacted quickly to send the shot wide with a decent block.

At the other end, Conor Newton got stuck into the attack, forcing his way into the box and past a couple of red shirts only to see his final effort blocked by a combination of defender and keeper.

A long ball up to Lynden Gooch opened things up for the visitors and ne crossed into the middle for McManaman who curled a shot wide of the far post.

Matthew Bates made ten changes on the hour mark, replacing all of his starting eleven except for Mark Kitching.

And sub keeper Ryan Catterick made his mark on 79 minutes, saving from George Honeyman who whipped a freekick in from the edge of the box.

While there was little in terms of chances for Pools in the second half, they looked composed throughout the game and dealt well with pressure from the visitors.

Chris Maguire fired on just over the bar in the final five minutes of the game as Sunderland looked to make their possession count.

The equaliser came on 90 minutes as sub Benjamin Kimpioka danced into space in the box to curl a shot past Catterick and into the bottom corner of the net.

Pools put in a good shift in very hot conditions at The Vic this afternoon in just their second pre-season outing of the campaign.

Full Time: Pools 1 Sunderland 1

Attendance: 3734 (2233 Sunderland)

Pools: Loach (Catterick 60), Richardson (Hawkins 60), Kitching, Anderson (Kioso 60), Davies (Laing 60), Magnay (Miller 60), Donaldson (Munns 60), Newton (Woods 60), Muir (James 60), Noble (Featherstone 60), Hawkes (Gioukoudis 60).

Sunderland: McLaughlin (Stryjek 66), Matthews, Hume, Love, Cattermole (Maguire 66), Flanagan (Nelson 81), McManaman (Kimpioka 81), McGeouch (Mumba 72), Maja (Robson 66), Honeyman (Taylor 81), Gooch (Molyneux 81).

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