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Match Reports

Pools Pegged Back At Ebbsfleet

16 November 2019

Pools threw away a two-goal lead to allow ten-man Ebbsfleet

United to come back to clinch a share of the spoils on a frustrating afternoon

at The Kulfink Stadium.

Dave Challinor's men looked on course for victory when Gavan

Holohan netted twice during a dominant first half and Pools' case was further

strengthened when Fleet front man Josh Umerah was sent-off just before the break.

However, Myles Weston pulled one back on 72 minutes and then

scored again nine minutes from time to complete an unlikely recovery from the

hosts.

Dave Challinor opted to keep the same line-up which began

the win at Yeovil Town and they fought out a scrappy opening to the encounter

at The Kuflink Stadium.

A bobbly playing surface made things difficult for both

sides but Nicky Featherstone came close to opening the scoring when his drive

from the edge of the box was deflected wide of the target.

A lovely corner routine provided Holohan with the chance to

net from the edge of the box but the midfield star's effort was saved comfortably

by the keeper, Harry Palmer.

Ebbsfleet's best chance arrived on 18 minutes when clever

play on the right of the area but his low drive was well blocked by Ben Killip

with his feet.

Fraser Kerr just couldn't get enough on Featherstone's

inswinging free-kick to find the goal, while Luke James stung the side-netting

with a drive as Pools began to dominate as the half developed.

And they got their rewards just after the half-hour when

Holohan cleverly side-stepped a defender twenty yards out and sent a left-footed

finish across the keeper and in to the bottom right corner of the net.

The hosts responded with a rare foray forward and when the

ball dropped for Albie Morgan he struck a low drive just past the post with

Killip rooted to the spot.

However, Pools were well on top and doubled their lead three

minutes before the break when James drove past a defender down the right and

lifted a cross in to the middle where Holohan was waiting to nod in his second

goal of the afternoon.

The contest swung even further in Pools' favour just before the

break when Umerah tangled with Michael Raynes and the referee immediately

brandished a red card for the Fleet forward.

Pools began the second half in control and within two

minutes Holohan had a glorious chance to seal his hat-trick. James turned and

struck a low shot on goal which was parried by Palmer and Holohan reacted

quickest only to fire over the bar.

Gus Mafuta was next to try his luck as he shot over from

twenty yards on the end of another flowing move, while a well-worked corner set

up Featherstone minutes later but the midfielder's curling shot was brilliantly

turned round the post by Palmer.

The hosts were struggling to get a foothold as the game

moved in to the final twenty minutes though a yellow card for Featherstone when

some home supporters felt he should have seen red helped bring the crowd back

to life.

They were further encouraged on 72 minutes when former Pools

man Tomi Adeloye – on as a half-time substitute – slipped a ball through for

Weston and he ran through on goal before clipping a clinical finish over Killip

to make it 2-1.

Suddenly, the calmness of the first hour began to evaporate

and the home side seized on those nerves to continue to pile forward and put

more pressure on Challinor's men.

The heartbreak arrived nine minutes from time when Weston's

flung a free-kick in to the box from thirty yards and it missed everyone, deceived

Killip and bounced beyond him and in to the corner of the net.

There could have been more drama right at the end of

stoppage time when Mafuta's charged-down shot ricocheted across the area to

substitute Jason Kennedy but his effort was somehow cleared off the line by an

Ebbsfleet defender and it finished level.

Full Time: Ebbsfleet United 2 Pools 2

Ebbsfleet United: Palmer, Wilson (Obileye 50), Ekpiteta, King, Grimes, Weston, Payne, Morgan, Sutherland (Adeloye 46), Ugwu (Reid 78), Umerah.
Subs not used: Lawless, Cordner.

Booked: Payne, Grimes.

Sent-off: Umerah.

Pools: Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes, Kitching, Mafuta, Featherstone, Holohan (Kennedy 84), Donaldson, James, Kabamba (Toure 76).
Subs not used: Cunningham, Hawkes, Muir.

Booked: Featherstone, Donaldson.

Attendance: 1,086


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