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Match Reports

Noble A Cut Above At Solihull Moors

8 September 2018

Goal celebration Shutter Press
Players and staff celebrate Liam Noble's goal at Solihull Moors.

Liam Noble proved too sharp for Solihull Moors as his fifth goal of the season was enough to secure victory at Damson Park and lift Pools up to fourth in the National League table.

The midfielder sported a new haircut for the visit the to Midlands but showed his style on the pitch to curl home a wonderful goal just before the hour-mark to see off the ten-man hosts.

The Moors – previously beaten just once in 17 on home soil – were up against it from the 19th-minute when midfielder Kyle Storer saw red for a two-footed lunge on Nicky Featherstone.

And Pools slowly turned the screw on the home side, dominating possession during a one-sided second half and running out winners thanks to Noble’s decisive moment.

Matthew Bates opted to change his starting eleven for the first time in seven games by drafting Paddy McLaughlin in to the midfield in favour of Michael Woods who dropped to the bench.

Pools began the game on the front foot and sprung forward menacingly through Ryan Donaldson down the right only for The Moors to counter-attack with pace and draw a smart save from Scott Loach at the other end all inside the first two minutes.

Even before the red card there was a setback for the home side who lost Adi Yussuf to injury but they were right up against it once skipper Storer had his moment of madness.

From then Pools were allowed plenty of time on the ball and worked it around well; Noble sent an effort from twenty-five yards just too high and Niko Muir struck a drive straight at keeper Ryan Boot after a neat turn on the edge of the area.

Some half-time words drew an increase in tempo from Pools and they were on the front foot from the first whistle, Muir escaping through on goal but just failing to find the net within three minutes of the restart.

Luke James then worked his way in to space on the edge of the area to let fly but saw his shot blocked and Mark Kitching smashed the rebound in to the side netting.

The best chance of all fell to Muir when he was brilliantly sent clear by the superb Featherstone’s incisive pass but the keeper blocked well and Featherstone curled the loose ball just over the bar as Pools continued to dominate.

The breakthrough arrived in 58 minutes when Noble drove forward from midfield and moved in to space 25 yards out before unleashing a delicious, curling effort which left Boot rooted to the spot as it flashed in to the net.

After that it was more about game management for Bates’ side though they always maintained a threat and were a little unlucky not to extend their lead on a number of occasions.

Donaldson popped up at the back post on the end of Kitching’s teasing cross but his firmly-struck half-volley kissed the crossbar on its way back across goal and out.

Noble had a great chance to double his tally but the keeper was there again before the midfielder turned creator to set-up substitute Michael Woods who wanted too much time and the defender did enough to thwart him.

At the other end Loach was rarely involved, though he did have his heart in his mouth when Jamey Osborne was allowed to advance to the edge of the box and fire a shot on goal which scraped the far post on its way wide.

Peter Kioso came closest of all when he got on the end of another incisive move involving Woods and Noble but his powerful low strike was well blocked by Boot.

In the end it was Noble’s moment of magic which decided the encounter and clinch Pools’ fifth win in six outings and extend the Club’s unbeaten run to seven games.

Full Time: Solihull Moors 0 Pools 1

Attendance: 1311 (341 Pools)

Booked: Kioso (27), McLaughlin (35)

Solihull Moors: Boot, Williams, Storer, Daly, Gudger, Osborne, Carter, Yussuf (Thomas 8), Hylton, Carline (Sweeney 78), Wright (O’Keefe 78).
Subs Not Used: Maxwell, Murphy.

Pools: Loach, Kioso, Magnay, Anderson, Donaldson, Featherstone, Noble, McLaughlin (Woods 71), Kitching, Muir, James.
Subs Not Used: Richardson, Hawkes, Newton, Dinanga.


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