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Match Reports

Pools Battle To FA Cup Win

10 December 2019

Match Reports

Pools Battle To FA Cup Win

10 December 2019

Pools booked their place in Round Three of the FA Cup with agutsy extra-time win over Exeter City at Victoria Park on Tuesday night.

Josh Hawkes smashed home the only goal of a tense Second

Round replay which was short on clear-cut chances but rich on endeavour from

both sides.

City arrived in the North East buoyed by a weekend victory

over Northampton Town which took them up to second in the League Two table,

while Pools were seeking a reaction after losing for the first time in six at


However, it became clear from the off that this was going to

be a hugely competitive affair and, at times, scrappy given the wild wind which

swirled around The Vic.

A cagey opening quarter of an hour was punctuated only by a

chance for Lee Martin on the break for City but, after cutting inside neatly

from the left, his drive flew across goal and wide.

Pools responded with a chance of their own as Kenton

Richardson swung a testing ball in to the back post but Mark Kitching could not

get a firm enough contact to divert it goalwards.

The presence of Luke James was unsettling the visiting

defence and some typically tenacious work from the forward helped tee up a

chance for Ryan Donaldson but the skipper struck his shot too high.

City enjoyed a good spell as half-time approached and Jayden

Richardson came close at the far post before Martin fired a curling effort

which was well parried by Ben Killip.

There was almost a breakthrough in the final minute of the

half when indecision at the back almost caused Exeter's Pierce Sweeney to

deflect the ball past his own keeper but Jonny Maxted reacted quickly to kick


The second half followed a similar pattern with neither side

really getting totally on top, though Ryan Bowman almost snatched a fortunate opener

when his attempted cross forced a retreating fingertip save from Killip.

Michael Raynes had to stay concentrated inside the six-yard

area to divert a teasing cross from the right away from danger, while

substitute Nicke Kabamba – on for the injured James – nodded Hawkes' inviting

cross just wide a the other end.

There was a great opening for Gime Toure on 72 minutes when

he was slipped in on the right of the area by Kabamba but the Frenchman sent

his shot way too high and City survived.

Hawkes could have won it 12 minutes from time when Toure got

to the byline and sent a low ball in to the middle but the midfielder's goalbound

drive was brilliantly blocked.

And so in to extra-time and Pools took just three minutes to

find the net. Toure turned on the edge of the area to feed the ball forward for

Hawkes and he drilled an unerring finish across Maxted and in to the top corner.

After that it was all about game management for Dave

Challinor's men – and they did it expertly, though Killip did have to make one

good save to keep the visitors at bay.

Pools' cause was helped six minutes from the end when City

wing-back Jack Sparkes was shown a second yellow card and The Grecians were

reduced to ten men for the closing stages.

Kabamba had a shot blocked and substitute Romoney

Crichlow-Noble also had the ball taken off his toe as he looked certain to

score as Pools frustrated their visitors and saw the job through.

Pools will now visit Oxford United in Round Three with a tripto The Kassam Stadium on the schedule for the first weekend of the New Year.

Full Time: Pools 1 Exeter City 0 (AET)

Pools: Killip, Richardson, Kerr, Raynes, Kitching, Mafuta, Featherstone, Hawkes (Crichlow-Noble 103), Donaldson, James (Kabamba 59), Toure (Holohan 115).
Subs not used: Muir, Kennedy, Grey, Shepherd.

Booked: Kitching, Toure.

Exeter City: Maxted, Sweeney, A Martin, Parkes, Richardson (Williams 56), Collins, Taylor (Moxey 92), Law, Sparkes, Bowman (Atangana 81), L Martin (Fisher 62).
Subs not used: Visser, Jay, Seymour.

Booked: Sweeney, Taylor.

Sent-off: Sparkes.

Attendance: 2,398 (69 Exeter City)

Referee: Scott Oldham.

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