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Match Reports

Keena Nets On Home Debut In Hatters Win

25 January 2020

Match Reports

Keena Nets On Home Debut In Hatters Win

25 January 2020

Aidan Keena scored on his home debut as Pools ran out

deserved 2-0 winners over Stockport County on Saturday to move within three points

of the National League play-off zone.

The Irishman converted from close range when he got on the

end of Mark Shelton's low cross before Shelton got on the scoresheet himself

early in the second half to seal the victory.

Dave Challinor handed debuts to new loan recruits Macauley

Southam-Hales and Timi Odusina, while Gime Toure returned to the starting

eleven after completing a three-match suspension.

There was a ferocious start to the game and it became clear

from the off that the visitors hadn't come to sit back and they more than played

their part during a high-tempo opening.

County debutant Danny Lloyd thought he should have had an

early penalty when he took a tumble under Odusina's challenge but the referee

wasn't interested and waved away his protests.

Pools' first real foray forward saw Ryan Donaldson drive towards

the edge of the box with possession before squaring it for Gavan Holohan whose

low drive was parried by keeper Ben Hinchliffe where Keena pounced on the rebound

only to be flagged offside.

The returning Gime Toure then robbed the ball from Stockport

on the halfway line and advance towards the penalty area but his curling shot

lacked the power to trouble Hinchliffe.

Another good Pools move on the quarter-hour mark provided

Holohan with another shooting opportunity but this time his right-foot shot

flew just wide of the post.

The Irishman was at the heart of everything in the final

third though and he tried his luck again a couple of minutes later, forcing

another fine diving save from Hinchliffe to his left.

There was a let-off for Pools at the other end when Adam Thomas'

cross from the right was spilt b Mitch Beeney who was thankful that Southam-Hales

was in the right place to clear Jordan Archer's effort off the line.

The goal arrived on 31 minutes and it was an excellent move

by Pools once again to free Mark Shelton to the right byline and his low ball

across was slid in to the net gleefully for a home debut goal by Keena.

Pools came out with real intent at the start of the second

period and Toure could have made it 2-0 within a couple of minutes when Gary

Liddle's flick-on found Toure on the left of the area but he blazed an effort

over the bar.

However, the pressure paid off on 52 minutes when Holohan

got between the lines to feed Toure down the left before charging in to the area

to receive the return pass and tee up Shelton whose low finish found the corner

of the net for a wonderful goal.

Two minutes later the irrepressible Holohan let fly with

another shot from the edge of the box which took a nick off a defender as it

flew towards goal where it was held by Ben Hinchliffe.

More excellent work from Keena saw him free Donaldson forward

down the right who set-up Toure but the Frenchman's powerful shot was saved at the

front post.

County finally began to rally after the hour mark and Ash

Palmer nodded a couple of half chances wide before Toure almost headed a third

for Pools at the other end.

Mitch Beeney then had to make smart saves from Lloyd's

whipped free-kick and a powerful drive from substitute Nyal Bell as The Hatters

threw caution to the wind in the final ten minutes.

However, Pools could have added gloss to their win in the closing

stages when Nicky  Featherstone drove an

effort wide from twenty yards and then Toure curled an effort too close to the


The win extended Challinor's men's unbeaten run to four

games and hoisted them ever closer to the National League's top seven as the business

end of the season approaches.

Full Time: Pools 2 Stockport County 0

Pools: Beeney, Southam-Hales, Liddle, Odusina, Kitching, Featherstone, Shelton, Holohan, Donaldson, Toure (Molyneux 93), Keena (Mafuta 87).
Subs not used: Anderson, Hawkes, Muir.

Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Cowan, Turnbull (McAlinden 70), Palmer, Keane, Thomas, Osborne, Arthur, Clarke (Bell 46), Archer (Minihan 65), Lloyd.
Subs not used: Ormson, Walker.

Booked: McAlinden

Referee: Karl Evans

Attendance: 3,766 (483 Stockport)

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