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Match Reports

Defeat For Pools At AFC Fylde

12 March 2019

Josh Hawkes Mark Fletcher, Shutter Press
Josh Hawkes in action at AFC Fylde

Craig Hignett suffered his first away defeat since his return as Hartlepool United's manager as Storm Gareth blew Pools off-course at AFC Fylde.

Gale-force conditions at Mill Farm caused untold problems for both clubs who, nonetheless, produced an entertaining game of football.
 
Danny Rowe gave the Coasters a third-minute lead but Pools levelled in the first minute of the second half through Ryan Donaldson.
 
Pools were unlucky to go behind to a Fraser Kerr own goal but when Josh Hawkes's corner went straight in it was 2-2 with 15 minutes left.
 
Pools looked good to go on and win it but a freak Rowe goal put the promotion-chasers 3-2 up with sub Lewis Walters getting a flattering fourth in the last minute.
 
Mill Farm should have been re-named Wind Farm for the night and there was a whirlwind start from the hosts.
 
Nick Haughton flashed a first-minute shot just wide of Scott Loach's left stick before the keeper had to be alert to snuff out the threat of Danny Philliskirk.
 
But Fylde were ahead on two minutes, 11 seconds.
 
Rowe picked top the ball 25 yards out and moved forward with some neat footwork before pulling the trigger,  his grass-cutter finding its way into Loach's bottom left corner.
 
It should have been two inside four minutes but Jordan Tunnicliffe contrived to miss with a close-range header when it seemed easier to score.
 
At the other end, Luke James almost pulled one back with his left-foot effort narrowly wide.
Fylde forced five corners with wreaked havoc but, each time, Pools with a mixture of grit and coolness under pressure, got the ball clear.
 
After that initial early burst, Pools settled and played some good stuff in horrific conditions with Josh Hawkes and Luke Molyneux causing the all-whites plenty of trouble.
 
So too was Nicke Kabamba who cut in on his left foot on 20 minutes with his thumping shot bringing a strong stop from Jay Lynch.
 
Molyneux had a couple of shots blocked by the home defence and Zaine-Francis Angel did well to scramble the ball clear as James threatened to go clear.
 
Despite being a goal down, Craig Hignett would probably have been the happier of the two bosses at the break.
 
And he was ecstatic inside the first minute of the second period.
 
Given the conditions, Donaldson decided to pull the trigger from outside the box and his decision was the right one as his shot deceived Lynch in the wind and dropped in.
 
With the wind in their sails, Pools were soon on the attack again and Molyneux flashed a shot wide from the right.
 
However, against the run of play, the Coasters regained the lead in the 56th minute.
 
Arlen Birch whipped in a wicked cross from the right and the helpless Kerr could only deflect it into his own net from 12 yards.
 
It was almost 3-1 in the 62nd minute with Pools grateful to a wonder save by Loach from Haughton's shot with Kerr clearing the loose ball off his line.
 
The wind, having assisted the Pools for their opener, duly helped for the 75th-minute equaliser.
 
Pools won corners on each side of the park and when Hawkes whipped one in from the left into a crowded six-yard box it eluded everyone and ended in Lynch's net.
 
And the crazy conditions contributed heavily to Fylde's third when a cross from the right ricocheted up for Rowe to nod past Loach for his 25th goal of the season.
 
There were two pieces of good fortune for Fylde's match-sealing fourth goal in the last minute.
 
Substitute Serhat Tasdemir looked a yard offside as he broke down the left. His shot hit the inside of Loach's post and rebounded kindly for fellow sub Walteres who tapped in.

 

Full Time: AFC Fylde 4 Pools 2

Attendance: 1,272

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Francis-Angol, Byrne, Tunnicliffe, Croasdale, Rowe, Philliskirk (Walters 78), Crawford, Birch, Haughton (Brewitt 90), Reid (Tasdemir 55)
Subs Not Used: Hemmings, Odusina.

Pools: Loach, Kioso (Noble 86), Kerr, Edgar, Anderson, Featherstone, Donaldson, Molyneux, Hawkes, James, Kabamba.
Subs Not Used: Kitching, Amos, Hawkins, Muir.


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