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Match Reports

Match Report: Pools defeated by Crewe in the Carabao Cup

10 August 2021

Match Reports

Match Report: Pools defeated by Crewe in the Carabao Cup

10 August 2021

Despite controlling large portions of the match, Hartlepool United bowed out of the Carabao Cup against 10-man Crewe Alexandra. Callum Ainley's strike in the 50th minute was the difference between the sides after Billy Sass-Davies was sent off in the first half for Crewe.

Pools were almost ahead in the first 60 seconds after Jamie Sterry's wicked drive headed goalwards but drifted narrowly wide. The first flashpoint followed shortly after as Tyler Burey got the better of young defender Billy Sass-Davies who pulled back the on-loan forward and saw red.

The resulting free-kick ended with Jaaskelainen punching away a Zaine Francis-Angol cross as Crewe held on in the first 15 minutes. Pools continued to press forward with Sterry, Angol, and Burey in particular showing plenty of guile in the final third.

Jamie Sterry then went even closer to his first goal for the club with a 25-yard free-kick. His curling effort had Jaaskelainen beaten but the ball struck the crossbar and bounced away.

Gary Liddle was also in the mood but his overhead kick from Sterry's cross cleared the stand rather than nestling in the corner. Crewe had two half chances as the half was coming to an end, but both were shanked into the Town End.

In four added minutes at the end of the first half, Sterry and Burey put the pressure on and Smith almost got in after a deep corner from Featherstone, but it was all square at the interval.

Pools started the second half brightly, with Sterry and Burey causing problems for Crewe down the right. However, it was Crewe that got onto the scoresheet. After 50 minutes, Ainley saw his initial drive magnificently saved by Mitchell, but the rebound fell back to him and the striker fired into the net.

Dave Challinor's side responded brightly and almost hit back immediately. After a perfectly weighted ball was floated into the box, Featherstone's flicked header was smartly tipped over by the keeper.

Angol and Smith had half-chances in the next few minutes, with Crewe growing into the game and fashioning chances of their own. Mandron looked lively after his introduction and Ainley continued to be a threat.

Olomola and Cullen were introduced, and both made good runs to no avail as Pools pushed for an equaliser. Burey continued to impress on his first start for the club, but he couldn't find a way past the Crewe defence.

Matty Daly and most of the crowd thought the ball was in, but the young midfielder's deflected effort could only graze the side-netting. Olomola and Cullen had further half-chances, but Jaaskelainen and the Crewe defence held firm.

In the end, Pools ran out of time and Byrne's looped header into the Town End was the last action of the half.

Pools XI: Mitchell; Byrne, Liddle (Ferguson 70), Odusina; Sterry, Smith (Cullen 60), Featherstone, Francis-Angol; Molyneux (Olomola 60), Burey, Daly

Subs: Killip, Ferguson, Cullen, Holohan, Ogle, Olmola, Lawlor

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