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Match Reports

Pools Share Points With Aldershot Town

29 September 2018

Michael Woods Simon Moore (Shutter Press)
Michael Woods in action against Aldershot Town.

Pools had to settle for a point in this afternoon's National League fixture with Aldershot Town

Niko Muir opened the scoring in the first half and Matthew Bates's side looked in control but the visitors upped their pressure after half-time, getting the equaliser and in the end, Pools had to work hard for the point.

Aldershot Town had the first chance of the game and it came in the eighth minute when Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong skipped along the edge of the box to set up Luke Wanadio but the Shots man sent his effort from a tight angle over the bar.

Pools saw more of the ball in a quiet opening to the game but, while the visitors worked to slow the game down, Bates’s side were full of energy and closed down well.

The hosts had their first real chance on 25 minutes when a Liam Noble corner from the right picked out Andrew Davies in the box and typically the Pools skipper won the ball in the air to send a header just over the bar.

Niko Muir, who shook of the ankle injury picked up in the midweek game at Salford City to start this afternoon, was in lively form again from the off.

And the striker combined nicely with Michael Woods to play a one-two inside the box but the midfielder just couldn’t get the final shot away and Aldershot were able to clear.

But the Pools pair combined again just after the half hour mark and this time it paid off; Woods tipped a lovely volley back to Muir who executed the perfect lob over keeper Jake Cole and into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.

Ryan Donaldson, who recovered from his hamstring injury to return to the eleven for the game, put a great cross in from the right for Muir to fight for at the near post but the striker just lost out to the defender who cleared out for a throw.

Just before the break, Aldershot had a chance to level as Matt McClure broke free into the box to send a shot in at the near post but Scott Loach was brave in the challenge as he slid in to hold the shot.

Pools had the final shot of the half as Donaldson sent a lovely ball high upfield that was touched down by Mark Kitching for Luke James who saw his snapshot find only the arms of Cole.

There was a very scrappy opening ten minutes of the second half as both sides took their time to get going again but when they did, it was the visitors who first found their stride.

Scott Loach made a great save on 56 minutes to deny Andy McDonnell who had tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box.

And the Pools keeper did it again just after as a cross came into the area from the left from Adam May which required the touch from Loach to keep it out of the danger area as the visitors enjoyed their best spell.

Loach made it a hat-trick of saves in just a couple of minutes as he punched clear another McDonnell effort as Aldershot upped the pressure.

Luke James broke up field to open things up for Pools but his low drive from distance was collected by Jake Cole.

And the visiting keeper reacted quickly to send the ball long up the pitch to set off a break down the right for Aldershot and when the ball picked out Matt McClure inside the box, he sent a right-footed strike past Loach to make it 1-1 and capitalise on their strong spell of pressure.

The visitors could have made it 2-1 shortly after the goal when a freekick picked out George Fowler at the far post but his headed effort hit the side netting.

Pools upped their game as the time ticked down and had some pressure of their own; Ryan Donaldson put a dangerous low cross in from the right which pulled a good save from Cole, while Pools had a penalty shout turned down after Donaldson was tripped inside the area.

But there was little else to threaten Cole's goal in the final minutes as Pools had more work to do at the other end of the pitch, with the visitors going closest when a Luke Howell effort crashed against the crossbar and bounced down on the line. The players in yellow all appealed for the goal but the officials denied the goal. 

The Shots had Pools pinned back in the final minutes as they looked to snatch the win in stoppage time but the game finished all square.

Full Time: Pools 1 Aldershot Town 1 

Attendance: 3251 (110 Aldershot Town)

Booked: Donaldson (35), Featherstone (90)

Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Davies, Magnay (Anderson 85), Kitching, Featherstone, Woods (McLaughlin 63), Noble, Muir (Hawkes 63), James.
Subs Not Used: Newton, Dinanga.

Aldershot Town: Cole, Kinsella, McDonnell, Fowler, McClure, Wanadio (Rendell 60), Lelan, Booty, McCoy, Berkeley-Agyepong (Gallagher 29), May (Howell 77).
Subs Not Used: Bernard, Legg.


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