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Match report: Pools rescue a point in the final moments

18 February 2023

Club News

Match report: Pools rescue a point in the final moments

18 February 2023

Deadly Dan Kemp snatched a 2-2 draw for Hartlepool United at Wimbledon with almost the last play of the game.

Pools were staring another away defeat in the face when the loan signing headed in David Ferguson’s left-wing cross in the sixth-minute of stoppage time at Plough Lane.

It was an incredible ending for Pools and Kemp after the mercurial player had got Pools back in it with a 71st-minute free-kick after goals by Ali Al Hamadi and Diallang Jaiyesimi had given the Wombles a deserved 2-0 lead.

Keith Curle made three changes with Peter Hartley returning from injury at the centre of defence with Mo Sylla and Connor Jennings coming into the starting XI.

Jamie Sterry, starting a three-match ban after his red card at Crewe, plus Ollie Finney and Jack Hamilton missed out.

There was a p[lace on the bench for new signing Leon Clarke after signing a deal until the end of the season this week.

Pools made a bright enough start with Jennings firing over the bar with an audacious 40-yarder before Josh Umerah went just wide of the keeper’s right stick after great work by Jennings.

The visitors should have gone behind on 22 minutes but Josh Davison headed wide from close range from Diallang  Jaiyesimi’s cross.

Wimbledon were growing in confidence but Ethan Chislett put a chance over with a miscue, before Armani Little brought a diving stop out of Jake Stolarczyk.

But they did find the net on the half-hour when Lee Brown crossed from wide on the left for Al Hamadi to head in from six yards.

Curle brought on Clarke at the start of the second half, replacing Pruti, with Pools going to a flat back four.

Pools fell 2-0 behind in the 53rd minute.

There was a nice move up the left from the Wombles and while Chislett's shot was saved by Stolarczyk, the rebound fell to Jaiyesimi who could not miss from 12 yards.

Pools were handed a lifeline 20 minutes from time by Kemp and his magic wand of a left peg.

It was the same script as last week against Sutton - a free-kick 25 yards out, with the same result, the Londoner curling his dead-ball strike over the wall and into the keeper's left corner.

That moment of magic lifted Pools and the 467 fans behind the home goal and they threatened an equaliser on 77 minutes when Umerah headed wide from a quality Ferguson cross.

Pools could not threaten again and it was the Dons, through sub Harry Pell and Davison who would have cracks at goal, though both were well off target.

It looked like Pools were destined to defeat but Ferguson and Kemp had other ideas.

Wimbledon: Tzanev; Gunter, Kalambayi, Pearce (Pierre 60), Brown; Woodyard, Little; Al Hamadi (Pell 80), Chislett (McAteer 80), Jaiyesimi (Pearson 72); Davison Subs (not used): Broome, Janneh, Currie,  

Goals:  Al Hamadi 31, Jaiyesimi 53

Booked:  Pearce 29, Davison 89

Pools: Stolarczyk; Foran, Dolan, Pruti (Clarke 46); Dodds, Sylla (Finney 74), Featherstone (Niang 90), Ferguson; Kemp; Jennings (Kiernan 86), Umerah 

Subs (not used): Killip, Dolan, Trusty,  

Goals: Kemp 71, 90+6

Referee:  Craig Hicks

Att: 7,495  (away 467)


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