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Match Reports

Match Report: Pools fightback in eight-goal thriller

23 December 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: Pools fightback in eight-goal thriller

23 December 2023

Pools, who were three goals down inside 30 minutes, showed resilience to secure a 4-4 draw on the road to Wealdstone.

John Askey named one change to the starting 11 that were narrowly defeated by league leaders Chesterfield. Joe Mattock was forced out with a hamstring injury, with Zak Johnson returning to the backline. 
 
It didn’t take long for Wealdstone to score the opener. On two minutes, a long throw was only half cleared before Max Kretzschmar finished off a cross. 
 
Joel Dixon made a big save to stop Sean Adarkwa, but it wouldn’t take long for the winger to get on the scoresheet. With 13 on the clock, he won possession on the halfway line before driving and finding the back of the net from 20 yards. 
 
Hartlepool’s afternoon got worse on 23 minutes as Johnson was forced off injured. His replacement was Brody Paterson, with David Ferguson moving to centre-back. 
 
Wealdstone’s third again came through Adarkwa. Ashley Charles’ ball picked out the number 27, who had space to finish past Dixon inside the box. 
 
Mani Dieseruvwe was hacked down on 35 minutes, with Callum Cooke stepping up to take the free-kick on the edge of the box. It was the closest Pools came, with his effort narrowly going over. 
 
It would be Cooke to score first for Pools. On 41 minutes, Nicky Featherstone’s cross from the byline was headed in by the number 10. 
 
And moments later, Joe Grey reduced the deficit to one after slotting underneath the keeper from Dieseruvwe’s tee up. 
 
There was a huge chance for Pools to level after the break. Jake Hastie was denied one-on-one by Marcus Dewhurst before the rebound eventually fell for Cooke to smash against the crossbar. 
 
Wealdstone then missed a big opportunity on 54 minutes. Micah Obiero drove past two defenders but as he bared down on goal, his curling effort just missed the target. 
 
Former Wealdstone player Josh Umerah entered the action on 57 minutes after Dieseruvwe went off injured. 
 
And the striker was involved straight away, slipping through Cooke whose sliding effort rolled past the keeper but was stopped by a last-ditch clearance. 
 
There were two chances for Wealdstone in the proceeding stages. Dixon was equal to a Sam Bowen strike, before Oberio found the net but was ruled offside. 
 
Wealdstone found a fourth with 76 on the clock as Tarryn Allarakhia’s shot was parried to Adarkwa, who converted the rebound for his hat-trick. 
 
Umerah rescued hope with 10 minutes to go, however. Pools’ number nine battled in the box before slotting into the far corner to make it 4-3. 
 
Pools kept pressing as Cooke fired off target, moments before Mitch Hancox’s header was stopped low by Dewhurst. 
 
And it would be Hancox to equalise for Pools in injury time. The visitors worked possession out from Ferguson’s throw-in before Hancox drove a low strike into the bottom right corner from 25 yards. 
 
Pools now set their sights on a double-header against Oldham Athletic during the festive period. 
 
Pools: Dixon, Brennan, Onariase, Johnson (Paterson 23), Hastie, Ferguson, Wallace (Hancox 75), Featherstone, Cooke, Grey, Dieseruvwe (Umerah 57)
 
Subs (not used): Jameson, Burton
 
Goals: Cooke (43), Grey (45), Umerah (80), Hancox (90+1)
 
Wealdstone goals: Kretzschmar (2), Adarkwa (13, 28, 76)

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