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Match Reports

Big Win For Pools At Barrow

21 March 2018

Barrow v Pools Mark Fletcher, Shutter Press
Conor Newton makes it 1-1 just before half time.

A Carl Magnay wonder strike saw Pools take all three points from the match with Barrow this evening.

The hosts took an early lead but Pools were level again through Conor Newton just before half time and then Magnay sealed the win in real style just after the break and Matthew Bates's side held on to take three big points. 

Pools started brightly here at Holker Street and created the early chances in this must-win National League fixture in front of the BT Sport cameras.

And there was an early chance for Rhys Oates to give his side the lead; Jake Cassidy picked up a long ball over the top to square it in for his fellow striker but Oates’ low shot through the box was blocked by Steve Arnold.

Despite dominating the opening period, Pools fell behind on 19 minutes and it came as no surprise that is was the Club’s former striker Luke James who got the goal.

James was a threat for the hosts with his trademark determined running and enthusiasm and when Calum MacDonald fed a ball through for the striker, he made no mistake as he shook off the attentions of Scott Harrison and sent the ball past Scott Loach into the opposite corner of the net.

As the hosts were buoyed by the opening goal, they upped the pressure on Pools and Luke James was involved again as they looked for a quick second. The forward stole possession just inside of the halfway line to set off towards goal where he played it on for Brad Bauress who saw his shot held by Loach at the near post.

MacDonald and Lewis Walters combined well down the left, with the former forcing his team forward into the box before playing a neat one-two on the edge of the box with Walters before firing a weak effort at Loach, which the keeper collected.

Pools were unsettled by the goal and took a while to get back into their stride and create an opening at the other end; when they did on 25 minutes, Jake Cassidy met a Rhys Oates’ cross with an acrobatic effort which went across the box.

The lively Walters opened things up for the hosts with a long cross into the box from the left which picked out Kingsley James, but his header was weak and easy for Loach to hold.

There were more half chances for the hosts who dominated much of the first half, with Pools doing enough to clear a Kingsley James effort and another from Walters dealt with.

But then with the game well into the three minutes of added time at the end of the first half, Pools got an equaliser; great work from the determined Rhys Oates created the opening and, with a slip from Arnold allowing the ball to move forward for Conor Newton, the midfielder did well to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle to make it 1-1.

The goal game Pools just the boost needed going into the break and Bates’s side came out full of confidence in the second half.

And it took just five minutes for Pools to take the lead and once again it was another Goal of the Season contender; Carl Magnay picked up the ball 40 yards out, looked up at goal and sent a perfectly-weighted strike into the top corner of the net to make it 2-1.

Pools were on top following the goal and kept Barrow pinned back for a decent spell of pressure, forcing the hosts into a series of blocks inside the box.

Bates’ side were playing some good football going forward and restricted the hosts to few chances at the other end in a much more assured second-half display.

Lewis Hawkins got down the right just before 70 minutes and played the ball into the box for Rhys Oates, who sent it across the face of goal where it went unchallenged and the hosts were able to clear.

Jake Cassidy had a half-chance as he turned into space twenty yards out on goal but he dragged his effort wide of target.

Michael Woods was next up to try and make it three as he danced his way inside the box before sending a low effort on goal which was touched wide by Arnold at the post.

Carl Magnay sent a pacy ball across the face of goal which sailed just in front of Cassidy who was waiting in the middle to pounce.

Barrow made a double change on 80 minutes, with former Poolie Dan Jones one of the players brought on, and he got involved from the off as he sent a dangerous cross into the box from the right, which won his side a corner.

The hosts offered a bit more in the final ten minutes and Louis Laing put in a superb block to deny Luke Hames from close range, before getting involved again to head clear the rebound strike.

There were four minutes of added time which lead to a frantic finish to the game but Pools were worthy winners on a big evening in front of the TV cameras. 

Full Time: Barrow 1 Pools 2

Attendance: 1018 (58 Pools).

Barrow: Arnold, Makoma (Jones 80), MacDonald, Diarra, Cook, James, Bauress, Hall, Waterson (Holt 69), James, Walters (White 80).
Subs Not Used: Jones, White, Diagne, Barthram.

Pools: Loach, Magnay, Harrison (Owen 90), Laing, Adams, Featherstone, Newton, Hawkins (Hawkes 86), Woods, Cassidy, Oates (Rodney 78).
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Munns.


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