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Match Reports

Adams Stunner Not Enough For Pools At Aldershot

6 March 2018

Aldershot Town v Pools Ian Morsman (Aldershot Town)
The Pools players celebrate Blair Adams' goal at Aldershot Town

Pools were beaten on the road at Aldershot Town on Tuesday night despite registering an improved performance at The EBB Stadium.

Pools were beaten on the road at Aldershot Town on Tuesday night despite registering an improved performance at The EBB Stadium.

Matthew Bates’ men battled away against promotion-chasing Town and looked on course to claim a point when Blair Adams’ stunning goal on the stroke of half time cancelled out Scott Rendell’s opener.

However, the game turned on a moment of controversy on the hour when Pools were denied what looked a blatant penalty and the minutes later fell behind to what proved to be the winner from Manny Oyeleke.

Bates opted to move Luke George back to right-back, with Liam Donnelly returning from injury to partner Scott Harrison at centre-back and Carl Magnay skippering the side from left-back. Conor Newton and Lewis Hawkins both returned to form either side of a diamond in midfield behind a front two of Jake Cassidy and Rhys Oates.

It was a scrappy opening under the lights as Aldershot enjoyed most of the possession but struggled to find a way through the reshuffled Pools defence.

Josh McQuoid tried his luck from distance after turning neatly in to space but shot over, while Magnay returned the favour by firing in to the crowd at the other end as both sides felt each other out.

On 13 minutes a goal arrived out of nothing for the hosts. Shamir Fenelon wandered in to space on the right of the area and delivered a low ball across goal which Scott Rendell stretched to get on the end of and prod beyond Scott Loach at the far post to make it 1-0.

Pools suffered another blow on 25 minutes when Luke George was forced to hobble off through injury; Blair Adams was introduced as his replacement.

Town continued to look the more likely and Rendell’s chest down in the area found Fenelon ten yards out but he drilled a low effort wide under pressure.

As the half drew to a conclusion Pools began to show their teeth. Rhys Oates did brilliantly to win possession on the left before coming inside to feed Conor Newton but the midfielder sliced his shot across goal and the home side were able to clear.

Oates got on the ball on the left flank again two minutes before the break and this time went for goal himself after cutting inside but his shot flew too high as he came under pressure from a defender.

However, right on the stroke of half-time Pools did find a leveller – and what a strike it was. Adams drove forward towards the edge of the area and, as the Shots defence backed off, the full-back unleashed a wonderful curling effort with his right foot which flew in to the net via the inside of the right post. It was quite a way for Adams to score his first goal for the Club.

There was a massive shout for a penalty from Pools eleven minutes in to the second half when Oates galloped down the right and crossed to the far post where Newton’s goalbound volley seemed to be blocked on the line by Will Evans’ hand. The referee waved away furious protests from the Pools players as the hosts smashed the ball clear on the rebound.

Salt could have been rubbed in Pools’ wounds almost immediately when Fenelon twisted in to space on the right of the area but he rushed his shot and it was well over the bar.

And right on the hour mark it was 2-1 to the hosts. Rendell teed up Manny Oyeleke on the edge of the box and his low strike found its way past Loach and in to the net via the inside of the left-hand post.

Oates did well to turn smartly on the left corner of the penalty area but his shot was held by keeper Jake Cole, while at the other end Loach got down to smother McQuoid’s long-range drive.

Michael Woods was next to try his luck but he got under a half-volley from the edge of the box as Town had half-cleared Oates’ cross from the right and the effort flew way too high.

The hosts began knocking the ball around with increased confidence and a wonderful switch of play set Taylor away down the left but when he cut inside he fired a low shot wide of the near post.

Pools continued to battle for everything and could have snatched something when Woods’ free-kick from the right flew through the area but nobody got a decisive touch and the danger passed.

Full Time: Aldershot Town 2 Pools 1

Aldershot Town: Cole, Alexander, Evans, Fenelon (Taylor 58), Oyeleke, Rendell, McQuoid (McClure 74), Rowe, McDonnell (Reynolds 86), Kinsella, Fowler.
Subs not used: Kabamba, Gallagher.

Pools: Loach, George (Adams 25), Donnelly, Harrison, Magnay, Featherstone, Hawkins, Newton (Rodney 70), Woods, Cassidy, Oates.
Subs not used: Catterick, Laing, Hawkes.

Booked: Magnay (80)

Attendance: 1,665 (65 Poolies)

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