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Match Reports

Pools' Cup Journey Ends At Oxford

4 January 2020

Match Reports

Pools' Cup Journey Ends At Oxford

4 January 2020

Pools were knocked out of the FA

Cup at The Kassam Stadium on Saturday as Oxford United recovered from a goal

down to book their place in Round Four.

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 first


However, the hosts showed why

they're among the favourites for promotion to League One this season by

producing 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 place

of 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 Jordan


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 twenty

yards 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 powerful

shot 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's

men 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 nudged

over 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 leave

Beeney 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 Pools

in 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 three

challenges 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 Beeney

saved 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 feet

of 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 roof

of 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.

Booked: Dickie.

Attendance: 6,240 (779 Poolies).

Referee: Michael Salisbury.

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