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Match Reports

Pools Knocked Out Of FA Youth Cup

22 November 2019

Pools' FA Youth Cup run came to an end at the Second Round

stage on Friday night as they were beaten 3-2 by South Shields in an

entertaining encounter at Mariners' Park.

Ian McGuckin's men were hoping to progress and set-up a

meeting with Fulham in Round Three but it will be Shields who make the trip to

Craven Cottage after the ran out 3-1 winners on home soil.

The hosts made an aggressive start and attempted to take the

game to Pools in the early stages but it almost cost them when McGuckin's side

sprung dangerously on the counter-attack and were only denied by a last-gasp

sliding tackle.

Aaron Willoughby was first to try his luck when he was found

by a raking cross-field pass from Jack Leonard but when the wide man cut inside

from the left he could only hit a shot over the bar.

Brad Young then had to be alert at the other end when Joao

Gomes let fly from twenty yards and his shot looped up off a defender before

the Pools keeper stretched to tip it over the bar.

With 18 minutes on the clock, the home side went in front.

Pools sat off as Shields came forward and that allowed them to slip a ball

through for Sam Hodgson who made no mistake with a neat finish past the

advancing Young to make it 1-0.

There was a great chance for Joe Grey to level just before the

half-hour mark when Coleby Shepherd slung a wonderful ball in to the area from

the right but front man Grey's volley dropped on to the roof of the net.

Grey atoned for that miss moments later though when another

clinical counter-attack saw the ball fed in to his feet on the left. He took a

touch to steady himself before unleashing a curling, dipping effort which flew

over the keeper and in off the post to level things up.

However, parity didn't last long. Gomes stormed in to the

box and had his run halted by a late tackle and the referee pointed to the penalty

spot. Hodgson did the rest with a vicious conversion in to the top left corner

to give Young no chance and put Shields 2-1 up on 33 minutes.

Pools came again and could have been level almost instantly

when Grey chased down the keeper and blocked his attempted clearance. The in-form

front man was first to the loose ball but the Shields keeper recovered well to

make a fine save down low to his left and protect the hosts' lead.

Harrison Webster then wandered forward from full-back

towards the edge of the box and let fly with a powerful drive which took a nick

off a defender on its way in to the side-netting.

There was a big opportunity for Pools to score just before

half-time when Webster got in to space on the left and lifted a cross to the

back post but Jay Gibson nodded an effort over the bar.

Jack Leonard almost brought Pools level at the start of the

second half when he picked the pocket of a defender but then his attempted chip

was clawed away by the keeper.

Young was then tested immediately at the other end and had

to make a strong save at his front post before the resultant corner was headed

over the bar.

Gibson fired a volley just wide from the edge of the area

and then Willoughby saw an effort saved by the keeper as Pools pressed their

opponents back on the search for an equaliser.

The game began to get a little nervy towards the midway

point of the second half but Shields could have increased their lead with a

header at the far post which kissed the bar on its way over.

South Shields had their keeper to thank for being in front

when Pools worked a lovely corner from the right and when it was lifted in to

the box it was blocked away by the keeper who then held the follow-up header

from substitute Luke Chapman on his line.

It proved a crucial moment because it was 3-1 on 83 minutes.

A corner was swung in from the left and centre-back Ben Errington got there

first to flick the ball on and in to the far corner of the net.

There was some hope for Pools two minutes from time when

Leonard unleashed a thunderbolt in to the top corner of the net to cue a frenzied

finale under the lights.

However, there wasn't enough time to engineer another chance

and it was the home side who clinched their place in Round Three and that trip

to the capital.

Full Time: South Shields 3 Pools 1

Pools: Young, Wilson (Chapman 71), Thompson, Pilling (Sturdy 83), Webster, Campbell, Gibson, Willoughby, Shepherd, Leonard, Grey.
Subs not used: Lowerson, Naisbett, James.

Booked: Leonard (68).


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