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Match Reports

Pools Pick Up A Point From The Hive

16 March 2019

Scott Loach Ian Randall (Shutter Press)
Scott Loach makes a save as Pools take on Barnet

Pools picked up a well-earned point against Barnet after an entertaining if blustery afternoon at The Hive.

Craig Hignett opted to make one change from the team which started at AFC Fylde in midweek as Liam Noble was restored to the heart of midfield after being rested.

Josh Hawkes could have handed Pools the dream start when he neatly slalomed his way in to some space on the left edge of the area but his powerful drive flew just too high.

With the wind on top, neither side was able to enjoy much in the way of fluency and chances were at a premium in the opening quarter of an hour.

However, The Bees could have gone in front on 15 minutes when a deep left-wing corner found the head of Dan Sweeney and he looked to have found the corner of the net before Scott Loach flew to his left to produce a wonderful save.

Shaq Coulthirst was next to try his luck as the hosts warmed to their task but, after some good play on the left of the area, his curling shot clipped the near post on its way wide.

Just as the home side seemed to be getting on top, Pools sent out a warning shot at the other end when Fraser Kerr decided to let fly from long-range and his wind-assisted drive was brilliantly flicked over the bar by Barnet keeper Mark Cousins.

A period of pressure followed for Pools as they penned in their hosts with a series of corners but couldn’t further test Cousins and The Bees were able to regain their composure.

David Edgar had to react quickly to prevent Coulthirst a chance at the front post after a fizzed-in cross from the left, while Hawkes had another go from distance for Pools but again shot just too high.

A sweeping counter-attack from Barnet provided a half-chance for Tarpey when he got on the end of Cheye Alexander’s whipped cross from the right but steered a volley wide of the target.

Tarpey tested Loach again with a wicked free-kick right on the stroke of half-time but again Loach was up to the challenge and blocked the curling drive away to safety.

Pools began the second half strongly and Luke Molyneux almost scored a wonder goal as he wriggled past one defender before nutmegging another only to fire his shot just over the bar.

The Bees should have gone in front on 52 minutes though. A deep cross from the right found Wesley Fonguck at the back post and he nodded it back across goal to Coulthirst who somehow scuffed a shot wide.

The blustery wind continued to dictate how much football was played but Pools thought they had stolen in front 17 minutes from time when Hawkes slipped Nicke Kabamba through on goal and he rifled a shot in to the roof of the net only for a late offside flag to cut short celebrations.

At the other end Barnet had appeals for a penalty turned down when the referee instead opted to caution Barnet substitute Simeon Akinola for simulation.

Barnet finished the game on the front foot but without the cutting edge to penetrate a determined Pools backline as Hignett’s men kept their first clean sheet in five games.

Full Time: Barnet 0 Pools 0

Booked: Kerr (17), Anderson (88)

Barnet: Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds, Tarpey, Coulthirst (Barham 83), Taylor, Boucaud, Fonguck, Sweeney,Mason-Clark (Akinola 78).
Subs Not Used:
Matrevics, Robson, Elito.

Pools: Loach, Kioso, Kerr, Edgar, Anderson, Noble (Featherstone 85), Donaldson, Hawkes (Holohan 90), Molyneux, James, Kabamba.
Subs Not Used: Amos, Kitching, Muir.

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