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Match Reports

Pools Beaten At The Vic

7 March 2020

Match Reports

Pools Beaten At The Vic

7 March 2020

Pools winning run at Victoria Park came to an abrupt end on

Saturday as Ebbsfleet United ran out 1-0 winners in a bad-tempered National

League encounter.

Gozie Ugwu's penalty 12 minutes from time was enough to

settle a fractious affair, though Pools were left kicking themselves after

domination possession but failing to find the killer goal.

Dave Challinor's men were looking to clinch a fifth

successive win on home soil for the first time since the promotion season of

2006/07 but there was a warning that they weren't going to have it all their

own way inside the first minute.

The visitors – five points adrift of National League safety

ahead of kick-off – sprung forward down the right and when Josh Umerah swung an

inviting ball to the far post, Ugwu's downward header bounced up off the bar

and out as Pools fans breathed a sigh of relief.

It took a little time but Pools did begin to settle in to

the game and Ryan Donaldson had a half-chance when left alone on the edge of

the box from a corner but his shot was charged down.

Luke Molyneux strangled an effort wide from the edge of the

box and Mark Shelton saw a back post header held by the keeper as Pools assumed

control and the visitors defended with determination.

There was another sight of goal for Molyneux midway through

the half when he again ducked inside from the right but this time his shot was

held by keeper, Jordan Holmes.

Aidan Keena – back in the starting eleven after his midweek

winner – led a dangerous counter-attack down the right before bringing the ball

across to feed Gime Toure but the Frenchman's shot flashed wide of the post.

Pools' best opportunity came in first half stoppage time

when Gavan Holohan's tenacity on the left earned him the chance to cross and

his far post delivery was met by Shelton and looked destined for the net – only

for it to strike the unlucky Keena and stay out.

Shelton could have netted right at the start of the second

half when he picked a way through The Fleet defence on the right of the area

but his drilled ball took a nick off a defender and flashed across goal and


Keena looked like being the hero again on the hour mark when

Donaldson's teasing ball from the right landed right on the Irishman's head but

his effort went straight at the grateful Holmes in the Ebbsfleet goal.

It was proving to be the that sort of afternoon for the

visiting goalie and he was in the right place again moments later when Molyneux

found a yard to drill a shot in which was held by Holmes.

Toure was next to nod an effort on target only to find

Holmes' hands again but the Pools front man was guilty at the other end on 75

minutes when he tripped his man trying to win the ball and gave away a penalty.

Ugwu held his nerve to fire home from the spot.

It could have got worse for Pools not long after the restart

when Michael Timlin escaped through on goal but his angled drive was parried by

Ben Killip and Nicky Featherstone was there to clear the danger.

Donaldson fizzed a late effort just too high and substitute Josh

Hawkes' long-range daisy-cutter almost found a route past Holmes who was

grateful to hold on – as were the visitors at the final whistle for this three points

could be massive in their fight for survival.

Full Time: Pools0 Ebbsfleet United 1

Pools: Killip, Liddle, Odusina, Kitching, Featherstone, Donaldson, Shelton (Harker 80), Holohan (Hawkes 85), Molyneux, Toure, Keena.
Subs not used: Richardson, Mafuta.

Booked: Killip,Featherstone, Toure.

Ebbsfleet United: Holmes, King, Wilson, Egan, Umerah (Adeloye 86), Ugwu, Grimes, Timlin, Ekpiteta, Payne (Obileye 74), McGlashan.
Subs not used: Goddard, Palmer, Achuba.

Booked: Adeloye,Ugwu, Timlin, McGlashan.

Attendance: 3,868(65 Ebbsfleet).

Referee: AaronJackson.

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