Pools Win Again At Torquay

Peter Kioso, Torquay United v Hartlepool United

Jason Kennedy and Peter Kioso both scored as Pools claimed their second successive win with a 2-1 triumph at Torquay United to move in to the top half of the National League.

Midfield man Kennedy nodded his first goal in Pools colours to give Craig Hignett’s unchanged line-up a deserved first half lead only for the hosts to hit back early in the second period.

However, Kioso opened his account for the new campaign with a thunderous strike ten minutes from time to send the 226 travelling Poolies home with smiles on their faces.

Pools quickly got on to the front foot and earned a couple of corners though it was the hosts who had the first effort on goal but Ben Killip was alert to keep out a free-kick at his near post.

Liam Noble came close to a bizarre opener when his left-wing corner was cleared straight back to him and when he returned it in to the area it deflected off a defender, up in the air and bounced off the cross bar before being cleared.

Pools were looking the main threat though and they made good on their domination on 16 minutes when Noble’s right-wing corner was headed towards goal by Michael Raynes and nodded in to the net by Jason Kennedy.

Gime Toure was causing worry at the back for Torquay and when he somehow wriggled his way through traffic on the left side of the area the hosts were thankful to a good save from keeper Lucas Covolan Cavagnari.

Peter Kioso came agonisingly close to doubling Pools’ lead when his low shot from the edge of the box came back off the base of the right-hand post before Toure’s follow-up was ruled out for offside.

Killip held a firm drive from Asa Hall but he was powerless to stop Jamie Reid’s sliding shot moments later after the Torquay front man took advantage of a mix-up at the back – thankfully his low shot scraped the post on its way wide.

Toure almost had the final say at the end of an entertaining first half when he once again danced around a couple of defenders but this time his low left-foot shot was deflected wide by a defender.

The hosts came out of the traps quickly at the start of the second period and immediately began pressing Pools on to the back foot and almost got level when a whipped free-kick from the left skipped through the box and just wide.

However, on 51 minutes they did get their goal. A great break out of the defence from Liam Davis carried them to the edge of the box and he fed the ball across to Jamie Reid who fired a brilliant finish in to the top corner.

That inspired The Gulls further and they continued to ask questions of the Pools defence, though Hignett’s men remained a threat on the counter-attack and Kennedy came close to nodding a second but glanced the effort just wide.

Having weather the storm, Pools began to look the more likely as the second half developed and Fraser Kerr’s header from another pinpoint Noble delivery was superbly saved by the home keeper down low to his right.

Gus Mafuta tried his luck from the edge of a crowded box but his shot was held before Kennedy bundled his way through on goal but struck a low shot straight at the keeper.

The pressure told on 80 minutes though when a long ball forward was nodded down by substitute Ryan Donaldson to Toure who held on to the ball while waiting for the overlapping run of Kioso, played it in to his path and the defender rifled an unstoppable finish in to the far corner of the net.

There were some nervy moments in the closing stages as the home side knocked at the door for a leveller but Pools held firm to collect their second successive win.

Torquay United: Covolan Cauagnari, Wynter (Lewis 86), Cameron, Hall, Davis, Koue Niate, Kalala (Duku 46), Little, Andrews (Vincent 81), Lemon-Heigh Evans, Reid.
Subs not used: MacDonald, Keating.

Booked: Hall, Davis, Duku.

Pools: Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes, Cunningham, Kitching, Mafuta, Kennedy, Noble (Featherstone 83), Toure, James (Donaldson 73).
Subs not used: Bale, Hawkes, Holohan.

Booked: Kerr (56), Raynes (65), Toure (90), Killip (90)

Attendance: 2,683 (226 Pools)