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Match report: Heartbreak for Pools as Colchester equalise in the last minute

3 September 2022

Hartlepool United were denied their first win of the League Two season after an injury time equaliser from Beryls Lubala. Wes McDonald’s strike looked to be the difference, but Lubala’s last-minute header pegged Pools back.
Both sides started tentatively, with McDonald looking brightest for Paul Hartley’s side. A late challenge from Miranda on Featherstone was the game’s first flashpoint, and the collision forced Pools into their first change as Mo Sylla replaced the captain. Sylla’s first involvement was a shot on goal after a one-two with Hamilton, but it was well off target.
Langstaffi had a chance for Colchester minutes later, but the on-loan Newcastle midfielder couldn’t get a clean contact and it skidded wide. Just before the half-hour mark, Pools led. Reghan Tumilty broke forwards and, after getting himself into a good position, slid the ball to Wes McDonald to sweep it home. 
Crawford headed over and Hamilton fired wide as Pools pushed forwards, but they were just one goal to the good at the interval.
After the break, Colchester came out of the blocks quickly but Pools’ dominance showed quickly. Wes McDonald was at the heart of everything Hartley’s side were doing and his long-range drive went wide before Appiah turned a shot wide at the other end.
Pools continued to move the ball well, with Colchester confined to half-chances through Noah Chilvers. Clarke Oduor, the Kenyan signed on deadline day, joined the fray with 25 minutes to go. The attacker provided pace alongside McDonald and then Hastie as Hartley shuffled his team around.
Colchester had a shout for a penalty with 10 minutes to go after a collision in the box, but the referee waved the U’s protests away. The hosts made attacking changes in search of an equaliser, and Cameron Cox saw a free header well held by Killip in the Pools goal.
Jake Hastie had a chance to seal it with a minute to go. Oduor drove down the left flank and cut the ball back, but Hastie snatched at it and Colchester got the goal-kick. From the kick, Sears got a shot away, but the block was made and Pools survived.
Then, in six minutes of injury time, Colchester got the equaliser. A ball into the box found Lubala in space at the back post, and the attacker headed beyond Killip for parity.
Pools now turn their attention to next Saturday when they host Doncaster Rovers at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Pools XI: Killip; Menayese, Lacey, Murray; Tumilty, Featherstone (Sylla 12), Niang, Crawford (Shelton 74), Paterson; Hamilton (Oduor 65), McDonald (Hastie 74)
Unused Subs: Letheren, Ferguson, Grey

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