Pools were knocked out of the FA
Cup at The Kassam Stadium on Saturday as Oxford United recovered from a goal
Mark Kitching gave Dave Challinor's
a perfect start when he fired Pools in front inside ten minutes with an
opportunistic finish and there were other chances during a closely fought firsthalf.
However, the hosts showed why
they're among the favourites for promotion to League One this season byproducing a classy second half display and roaring back to win the tie.
Dave Challinor made three changes
for the game, bringing back Fraser Kerr, Gus Mafuta and Mark Kitching in placeof Gime Toure and the cup-tied duo Gary Liddle and Mark Shelton.
After a really scrappy start, the cup tie burst in to life
on nine minutes when some miscommunication at the back allowed Kitching to
steal in and slot a composed finish past the helpless Oxford keeper JordanArcher.
That gave the brilliant travelling support even more to sing
about as Pools continued to look a threat when they moved forward and Gavan
Holohan had a half-chance to make it 2-0 when he wriggled in to space twentyyards out but then struck a shot straight at Archer.
As the half wore on, the hosts began to enjoy more
possession and build some momentum, the dangerous Shandon Basptiste seeing a powerfulshot deflected wide and Rob Hall flashing another effort just past the post.
Despite dominating the ball, Oxford were struggling to break
down a resolute Pools rearguard and there remained moments where Challinor'smen looked to punish them on the counter.
Pools could even have gone further in front in first half
injury time when Kitching got in to the area again where he appeared to be nudgedover but Referee Salisbury was unmoved.
It proved a critical moment because just seven minutes in to
the second half Oxford were level. Rob Hall superbly turned inside from the
right and curled an inch-perfect shot in to the bottom left-hand corner to leaveBeeney with no chance.
Karl Robinson's men began to completely boss possession and
could have increased their lead on a couple of occasions as they penned Poolsin their own half.
The second goal duly arrived midway through the second half
and it was a wonderful solo goal from Baptiste who danced his way through threechallenges before providing a clinical finish.
Challinor had to gamble and the introduction of Tyler
Hamilton gave Pools another outlet but they remained under pressure and Beeneysaved well to prevent Oxford substitute Matty Taylor from making it 3-1.
However, the third goal came six minutes from the end as
Fabio Loopez scuffed a shot across goal which landed fortuitously at the feetof Fosu and U's skipper gratefully made it 3-1 from close range.
Fosu was then felled in the area a couple of minutes later
as things got worse for Pools and Taylor rammed an emphatic penalty in to the roofof the net to secure Oxford's win and safe passage in to the next round.
Full Time: Oxford United 4 Pools 1
Pools: Beeney, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes (Molyneux 83), Richardson (Hamilton 70), Kitching, Featherstone, Mafuta, Donaldson, Holohan, Kabamba (Toure 65).
Subs not used: Killip, Cunningham, Kennedy, Grey.
Booked: Mafuta, Kerr.
Oxford United: Archer, Ruffells, Moore, Dickie, Gorrin, Hall (Agyei 80), Fosu, Long, Baptiste (Lopez 83), Sykes, Mackie (Taylor 65).
Subs not used: Stevens, Mousinho, Jones, Goodrham.
Attendance: 6,240 (779 Poolies).
Referee: Michael Salisbury.