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Match Reports

Youth Team Start Season With Victory

11 September 2019

Pools Youth Team defeated Alfreton Town 2-1 in the first

game of their NLFA North Division season despite finishing with nine men at

Welfare Park on Wednesday afternoon.

First half goals from Jack Leonard and Coleby Shepherd had

put Pools firmly in the driving seat after an impressive start but some sloppy

play and ill discipline almost allowed the visitors to claim a share of the

spoils.

There were just three minutes on the clock when Ian McGuckin's

youngsters hit the front as Leonard's shot from twenty yards following a short

free-kick squirmed through the fingers of the Alfreton keeper to find the net.

Leonard came agonisingly close to doubling his tally when he

struck the bar with a wonderful curling effort from the left corner of the

penalty area a couple of minutes later.

However, Pools didn't have to wait long for their second

goal when Shepherd nipped in skilfully from the right before shooting low past

the keeper at his front post to make it 2-0 on 14 minutes.

Brad Fox dragged a shot wide after a flowing Pools move and

it looked as though the hosts were on for a handsome victory at sunny

Blackhall.

But rather than kick-on, Pools' play became disjointed and

Alfreton began to get back in to the game, drawing a fine save from keeper

Grant Lowerson down to his left.

Pools didn't heed the warning though and the visiting side

did have their goal back nine minutes before half-time when a long free-kick

found the striker on the edge of the box and he rifled a wonderful finish in to

the top left-hand corner of the net.

Things got worse on 40 minutes when Fox was shown a straight

red card for a terrible lunge on one of the Alfreton defenders, rightfully receiving

his marching orders from the referee.

The second half was a much scrappier affair and comprised of

fewer chances as Pools tried to grind out the result, though Lowerson was

called upon once again to make an excellent save flying to his left.

Aaron Willoughby almost made it 3-1 after capitalising on

some poor defending to carve out an opening but shot just wide, before Shepherd

hit a shot just over the bar as Pools threatened to rediscover their rhythm.

Centre-back Oliver Thompson was booked for a shirt pull in

the closing stages and that came back to bite him a few minutes later when some

dissent at another decision against Pools earned him a second yellow.

However, Pools saw out some seven minutes of injury-time to

hold on for three points and secure a win on their debut in the inaugural NLFA

campaign.

Full Time: Pools 2 Alfreton Town 1

Pools: Lowerson, James, Pilling, Thompson, Webster, Shepher, Campbell, Fox, Willoughby (Chapman 81), Leonard, Grey.
Subs not used: Wilson, Gibson, Sturdy, Naisbett.


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