Toure And Noble Fire Pools To Victory

Gime Toure, Hartlepool United v Wrexham

Pools picked up their first home win of the season with a high-scoring victory over Wrexham at Victoria Park.

Two goals each from Gime Toure and Liam Noble secured a 4-2 victory for Craig Hignett’s men with an entertaining second-half display.  

It was a lively start to the game here at The Vic, with both teams going full throttle for the opening minutes until things settled into a more sedate affair.

Michael Raynes was solid for Pools this afternoon, winning everything that came into the box from either side, and the defender got in two important headers on five minutes; first to clear a freekick and then to deal with the corner.

At the other end, Liam Noble took a quick freekick to slide it down the right for Gime Toure who pushed in to test the keeper with a good strike but Christian Dibble blocked the shot.

Mark Kitching, who looked bright down the left again today, broke through into the area to fire in a shot at goal but his effort found only Dibble’s arms.

Devonte Redmond got through on 20 minutes to fire a pacy shot on goal but his effort went high over the bar.

The game became quieter, with several stoppages that hampered the flow and there was little to keep either keeper involved for a spell.

With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Bobby Grant did well to play the ball through for Redmond inside the box but his final shot on goal had little power and it was easy for Killip to hold.

The visitors were ahead with their next attack though as an injury to Ben Tollitt seemed to distract a few from both teams but Akil Wright used it to his advantage as he went through to fire in a low shot from distance that took a big deflection on its way past Ben Killip. The Pools keeper was wrong-footed by the deflection and could only watch as the ball went past him and into the bottom corner of the net.

However, Pools were level within minutes as Gime Toure showed his striker’s instinct, making sure he was in the right place to pounce from a corner, heading past Dibble from close range to make it 1-1 just before half-time after Aaron Cunningham’s flick-on.

Kitching made another good move down the right to cut in and fire in a powerful shot late in added time but his effort went wide of target and the two teams went in all square.

Hignett’s side were 2-1 up within three minutes of the re-start, with Liam Noble firing home from the penalty spot.

Aaron Cunningham kick-started the move, forcing his way forward with the ball to fire a powerful strike in from just outside the box. His strike was parried back out but in the battle to get the loose ball over the line, Noble was fouled.

Once the referee awarded the penalty, Noble had the ball on the spot and showed his confidence as he stepped up and sent it past Dibble to give Pools the lead.

With less than ten minutes of the second half gone, Pools were 3-1 up and it was another Liam Noble goal to thank; the midfielder jinked into space on the edge of the box, played it back off the defender to skip past him and send a low ball across the keeper and into the back of the net.

There was no time to rest in these opening minutes of the second half and, with 56 minutes on the clock, Wrexham had pulled a goal back. With a corner crossed into the box, the referee spotted a shirt pull from Cunningham and he pointed to the spot.

Grant stepped up to take the penalty kick and sent a low effort into the bottom left hand corner of the net to make it 3-2.

Within four minutes though, this breath taking second half had taken another twist; Noble rescued Kitching’s deep cross and lobbed it back across goal from the right to Toure who nodded in his fifth goal of the season for 4-2.

Wrexham were reduced to ten men on 65 minutes as Jake Lawlor picked up a straight red card for a foul that left Jason Kennedy flattened and needing treatment.

Killip pulled off a great save to deny visiting skipper Shaun Pearson from pulling a goal back, with the Pools stopper going up at full stretch to tip his effort over the bar.

The game looked far from over for either team and with 15 minutes left on the clock, Luke James saw a flicked header go just wide of the far post, before James then went on a driving run to square the ball for Toure and win his side a corner.

Good link-up play down the left saw sub Nicky Featherstone break forward to play Kitching in but his shot from a tight angle was blocked out by the keeper.

James showed more determination down the right as he kept looking for that fifth goal, but the forward was denied on 88 minutes as his low effort was held by Dibble after a sumptuous first touch and mesmerising dribble.

In the end, it was a comfortable win for Pools and an entertaining display to seal victory for the first time on home soil in the new season.

Full Time: Pools 4 Wrexham 2

Pools: Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes, Cunningham, Kitching, Mafuta, Noble (Hawkes 89), Kennedy (Featherstone 74), James, Toure (Bale 89).
Subs not used: Bale, Donaldson, Holohan.

Booked: Mafuta (1), Noble (46), Killip (90)

Wrexham: Dibble, Barnum-Bobb, Pearson, Lawlor, Tollitt (Harris 59), Redmond (Young 78), Grant, Carrington, Barton, Wright, Hooper (McIntosh 17).
Subs not used: Lainton, Rutherford.

Booked: Mafuta (1), Noble (46), Killip (90)
Sent-off: Lawlor (64).

Attendance: 3462 (311 Wrexham)