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Match report: Pools secure first point on the road

18 September 2021

HARTLEPOOL United clinched their first away point of the season when they fought out a goalless draw at Oldham Athletic.
Rock-bottom Latics had the better of a poor spectacle against a Pools side who could not get out of first gear at Boundary Park.
Mark Shelton went closest with a 41st-minute header for Pools, who started with new signing Mike Fondop up front and Jordan Cook on the bench.
The first half was a very forgettable affair.
Oldham, to their credit, looked a better side than their league placing suggests and they were unlucky not to lead in the seventh minute.
Hallam Hope brought a diving save from Ben Killip who could not get the ball safe, which meant Neil Byrne was required to make a goal-saving tackle.
But the loose ball only fell to the feet of Hope who fired towards a unguarded net only to see Zaine Francis-Angol produce a spectacular goal-line clearance.
Pools offered little going forward with their first shot at goal being a daisy-cutter from outside the area which Jason Leutwiler collected all to easily.
Luke Molyneux could only find the home fans behind Leutwiler's goal while Fondop's blast from outside the box hit the advertising hoardings.
But Pools were desperately unlucky not to be ahead on 41 minutes when Jamie Sterry whipped in a cross from the right and Shelton's header from 12 yards cannoned back of Leutwiler's right stick.
The second half, sadly, followed the same pattern of the first, with the fare poor.
Hope put a shot wide on the break while Leutwiler was force to grab a Featherstone free-kick though it looked a cross rather than a shot from the Pools skipper.
There was a staggering let-off for Pools on 64 minutes. Great skill by Callum Whelan saw him drive the ball across the face of Killips's goal but neither of the unmarked home players could get a touch to it.
While Pools offered little going forward, the moment they did they went close, but twice Molyneux had shots at goal block by home skipper Carl Piergianni.
Pools brought on Cook for Olomola but it was Fondop who would have a crack at goal with an overhead kick from sub Reagan Ogle's cross which flashed wide.
The best work for Pools came from Gary Liddle who produced a superbly-timed tackle on Hope and then in stoppage time made a vital block from the same player.

Oldham: Leutwiler; Piergianni, Jameson, Diarra; Clarke, Whelan (Bowden 71), Bettache (Dearnley 84), Dunn (Vaughan 71), Sheehan; Bahamboula, Hope. Subs (not used): Danielewicz,  Fage, Da Silva, Couto

Booked: Jameson 80,  Piergianni 87

Pools: Killip; Byrne, Liddle Angol; Sterry, Shelton, Featherstone, Molyneux, Ferguson (Ogle 73); Fondop, Olomola (Cook 57). Subs (not used): Mitchell, Odusina, Smith, Cook, Goodwin, 

Booked: Ferguson 42, Liddle 73, Sterry 90 

Referee: Charles Breakspear. Att: 3,934 (away 946)


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