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Match Reports

Big Win For Pools At Boreham Wood

16 February 2019

Goal celebration Ian Randall (Shutter Press)
Nicke Kabamba celebrates his first goal at Boreham Wood

Pools enjoyed their biggest away win since 2007 as they hammered four unanswered goals past Boreham Wood during an astonishing performance at Meadow Park.

Nicke Kabamba became the first Pools player in over 50 years to score in his first four games for the Club as he nodded the team in front early on and it was a lead from which they rarely looked back.

Not since a 6-0 triumph at Gainsborough Trinity in the FA Cup under Danny Wilson in November 2007 have Pools fans seen their players so rampant on their travels as doubles from Kabamba and Josh Hawkes blew The Wood out of sight.

Craig Hignett was forced in to two changes after Michael Raynes was ruled out for eight weeks with an Achilles problem and Luke Molyneux was ruled out after sustaining a gash to his knee last weekend.

With Carl Magnay undergoing surgery on his own knee problem earlier in the week, Hignett turned to young Aaron Cunningham who was handed his full debut, while Liam Noble returned in midfield to replace Molyneux.

Hignett’s men had the very first opening of the game on five minutes when Nicky Featherstone did well to pinch possession high up the field and present the ball to Josh Hawkes but his drive was blocked by Manny Parry.

Pools did go in front a couple of minutes later as Danny Amos hoisted a deep ball in to the area from the left and Kabamba backed off in to space at the far post before planting a delicious header back across keeper Ryan Huddart and in to the far corner of the net.

The goal seemed to help Pools settle further and Luke James could have made it 2-0 when he brilliantly took control of a looping ball forward down the left before turning infield to let fly only to see a defender get in the way of his shot.

Slowly the hosts began to work their way back in to the game with much of their threat coming from the dangerous Sean Shields whose trickery down the left and ability to deliver with both feet was causing problems.

Indeed it was the winger’s teasing corner which picked out Jamal Fyfield twelve yards out but the defender’s looping header struck the underside of the cross bar with Scott Loach beaten and Ryan Donaldson was grateful to clear.

Kabamba almost grabbed his fifth in Pools colours when he got on the end of another inch-perfect delivery from the left but this time the striker got his angles wrong and the header dropped wide of the post.

Sorba Thomas fired over at the other end and Cunningham flew in to a ferocious challenge to deny Shields a chance to shoot as the first half drew to a conclusion.

Hawkes had been on the periphery of the action during the first 45 minutes but he announced himself in the game early in the second period.

After a brilliant run from Ryan Donaldson down the right, Hawkes showed great vision to keep the ball moving and find the onrushing Danny Amos on the left and his clean strike flew behind via a combination of keeper’s glove and post.

Hawkes then took centre-stage when he picked up the ball twenty-five yards from goal and, as the home defence sat off, he rifled a sumptuous low drive in to the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Loach had to palm a Kieron Murtagh header over the bar as the home side briefly threatened to rally but they were left on the ropes again just before the hour mark when a rampaging run from Luke James was ended unceremoniously just inside the area by Manny Parry. Hawkes assumed penalty-taking duties and calmly rolled the ball home to make it 3-0.

Hawkes was now clearly enjoying himself and could even have been walking off with the matchball moments later when his curling left-foot shot flashed just wide of the upright from twenty yards.

Donaldson volleyed over at the far post following yet more good work from James and Kabamba before Peter Kioso had a chance to make it 4-0 but headed tamely at the keeper after finding space in the box.

The home side began to press for a goal back as time ticked away and Pools were forced to defend with determination, limiting The Wood to a header over from Champion and a blocked shot from substitute Ricky Shakes.

However, it was fitting that Pools and Kabamba would have the final word and, following another terrorising run from James, on-fire front man Kabamba steered a left-foot shot on goal which found its way in to the net via a deflection. Five in four for a man who is quickly becoming a terrace hero.

There could even have been a fifth goal at the death when Niko Muir came off the bench to bully his way in to possession on the right before rolling the ball across goal for fellow substitute Mark Kitching but his powerful drive was blocked by the keeper.

Not that the near-200 travelling Poolies were bothered about the miss as they celebrated the final whistle and – finally – enjoyed something to really cheer about.

Full Time: Boreham Wood 0 Pools 4

Attendance: 679 (199 Pools)

Booked: Kioso (47)

Boreham Wood: Huddart, Ilesanmi, Ricketts, Parry, Champion, Gabriel (Shakes 68), Murtagh, Fyfield, Thomas, Kanu, Shields (Ash 59).
Subs Not Used: Legg, Woodards, Ugwu.

Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Cunningham, Anderson, Amos, Featherstone, Noble (Kitching 86), Hawkes (Hawkins 72), James (Muir 89), Kabamba.
Subs Not Used: Richardson, Miller.

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