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Match Reports

Match Report: Afternoon to forget in Oxford

9 September 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: Afternoon to forget in Oxford

9 September 2023

Hartlepool United went from strolling to being steam-rollered at Oxford City, where they were defeated 5-2.

With an hour gone in 30-degree heat at the RAW Charging Stadium, Pools looked in complete control after first-half goals by Joe Grey and Callum Cooke had given them a 2-1 lead.

But Pools conceded three times in seven tough minutes through Candice Carroll, Josh Ashby and Pierre Fonkeu, who would add a fifth late on.

John Askey, not surprisingly, named an unchanged starting XI at Oxford City, which meant skipper David Ferguson remaining as the left central defender and Brody Paterson at left wing-back.

The only Pools change came on the bench where defender Alex Lacey, having recovered from a calf problem, replaced Kieran Burton who made his debut last weekend as a late sub.

Pools had the chance to go in front on eight minutes, only for Charlie Seaman to slash his shot wildly over the bar after a Ferguson cross caused bother in the box.

Askey’s side had settled the better and they had another opportunity when Cooke’s free-kick went under the wall but was saved easily by Chris Haigh.

Oxford had their first sight at goal a minute later but Lewis Coyle volleyed wide of Pete Jameson’s left stick.

Pools went in front on 16 minutes and this time ace goal-getter Mani Dieseruvwe was the provider.

The striker nodded Luke Hendrie's cross from the right back across goal where Grey headed into Haigh’s bottom right corner.

The Hoops pulled level in the 33rd minute when Sanderson converted Nya Kirby’s low cross from the right with a low first-time finish.

Tom Crawford almost regained the lead with a low shot from 25 yards which went just wide, but fellow midfielder Cooke found the target five minutes before the break. There was a nice steady build-up by Pools before Cooke curled his shot into the keeper's top-left corner from 20 yards.

Pools threatened after the interval on 52 minutes, but a lovely passage of possession ended with Dieseruvwe skying his shot into the trees behind the goal.

Oxford were barely getting a kick, but three goals in seven minutes turned the game on its head.

The first came on 62 minutes when Pools were undone by a cross from the fight by Tafari Moore which Carroll headed home.

From the kick-off, the Hoops attacked again and Ashby side-footed a shot from the edge of the box into Jameson's left corner.

Just when you thought it could get no worse, Pools conceded a fourth in the 68 minutes.

Manny Onariase lost the ball 30 yards out, allowing sub Fonkeu to run clear and beat Jameson with a calm finish.

There was a chance for the defender to make amends 10 minutes from time, but Onariase’s header from a corner was well held by the keeper.

It was probably no surprise that it was the Hoops who scored again.

Jameson saved well from Ashby's header after a free-kick but Fonkeu slotted the loose ball home in off the goalie.

Pools kept going but Cooke and sub Josh Umerah saw injury-time piledrivers just clear Haigh’s crossbar.

Pools: Jameson; Hendrie, Onariase, Ferguson; Seaman, Crawford, Wallace (Finney 31, Umerah 74), Cooke, Paterson (Hastie 64), Dieseruvwe, Grey.

Subs (not used): Dixon, Lacey

Referee: Sam Mulhall

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