Pools End Season with Salford Victory

Pools came from a goal behind to take the three points against promotion-chasing Salford City at The Super 6 Stadium this afternoon.

Goals from Nicky Featherstone, Nicke Kabamba and Luke James sealed an entertaining victory for Craig Hignett’s side who beat a Salford side reduced to ten men just before half-time.

Salford City took the lead after just two minutes here this afternoon, to put Pools on the back foot from the off.

A cross in from Daniel Lloyd on the right picked out an unmarked Adam Rooney in the middle and he made no mistake as he volleyed home from eight yards.

The visitors went close to a second inside the first five minutes when Lois Maynard also found space in the box to send a header towards goal but he was denied by Scott Loach with a good save.

After the early onslaught from the visitors, Pools showed a measured response and edged their way into what was a lively first half.

Luke James got forward on eight minutes to have Pools first chance on goal; the Supporters’ Player of the Year cut in from the left to fire a shot on goal but his effort took a deflection and went out for a corner.

Luke Molyneux, who was bright this afternoon, pushed in from the right with the next real chance for his side but his low effort went just wide of target.

Liam Noble picked out Mark Kitching with a lovely cross out to the left and Kitching in turn then lifted a nice ball back in for James but he saw his header go just over the bar.

Noble had a shot himself from distance which was held by Salford keeper Chris Neal but Pools were looking bright by this stage.

And in the dying minutes of the first half, Salford City were reduced to ten men as Matt Green picked up his second yellow card for a challenge on Scott Loach on the edge of the box. Despite strong protests from the visitors, the referee was sure of his decision and Green was shown red.

Scott Loach was involved in the early action in the second half too as he made a decent save from Daniel Whitehead to deny Salford a second goal after the midfielder had forced his way past Kioso and into the box.

But Pools were soon back at it at the opposite end and got a deserved equaliser on 50 minutes; Nicke Kabamba got up to flick the ball on into he path of Nicky Featherstone who had made a perfectly-timed run into the box and he finished calmly past Neal to make it 1-1.

And it was so close to 2-1 soon after as sub Gavan Holohan, on late in the first half for the injured David Edgar, fired a great effort at goal which smashed against the crossbar before the visitors cleared.

Pools were playing some decent football in this second half and made it 2-1 with another well-worked goal. After impressive work from Molyneux and Noble in the build-up, Kabamba was on hand to put it over the line and put Hignett’s side in front.

Luke James topped off his day by making it 3-1 on 74 minutes, as a Molyneux cross into the box picked out James who sent a low drive past Neal and into the far corner of the net.

Pools dominated much of the remaining possession, playing some attractive football and putting on an entertaining show for the home supporters. 

Salford did get a late goal back through sub Emmanuel Dieseruvwe but Pools’ lead never looked in doubt as the game finished 3-2.

Full Time: Pools 3 Salford City 2

Attendance: 3582 (300 Salford City)

Pools: Loach, Kioso (Richardson 87), Edgar (Holohan 43), Anderson, Kitching, Featherstone, Donaldson, Noble (Hawkes 87), Molyneux, James, Kabamba.
Subs Not Used: Muir, Bale.

Salford City: Neal, Wiseman, Touray, Mafuta (Redmond 66), Hogan, Piergianni (Linganzi 70), Green (sent off 43), Maynard, Rooney (Dieseruvwe 63), Lloyd, Whitehead.
Subs Not Used: Crocombe, Walker.