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Match Reports

REPORT: HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1-1 YEOVIL TOWN

4 February 2017

Yeovil Town moved three games unbeaten away from home with a 1-1 draw at Hartlepool United in Sky Bet League Two.

After a stop-start first half the game came to life after the break, with two goals in five minutes.

The lively Padraig Amond headed the hosts in front with an expert header just past the hour-mark, before Town responded immediately. 

Francois Zoko was brought down in the box after an unstoppable run, with former Pools player Matty Dolan converting from the spot.

After equalising the Glovers looked more likely to net a winner with Dolan denied a double by a brilliant save, with Town eventually settling for a share of the spoils. 

Darren Way made one change to the side that claimed three points against second-placed Plymouth Argyle at Huish Park in midweek. 

The suspended Kevin Dawson was replaced by new arrival Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, which saw Ben Whitfield drop back into the midfield three to accommodate the attacker.

Fellow deadline day signing Owain Jones took a spot amongst the substitutes, whilst Shayon Harrison and Kabongo Tschimanga (who also arrived at the end of the January transfer window) missed out as the unlucky sixth and seventh loans. 

Having travelled the 330 miles to Hartlepool the journey seemed to effect Town who were slow to get going in County Durham. 

Enjoying plenty of the early possession Dave Jones’ side notched the first shot on target, with debutant Louis Rooney firing straight into the arms of Artur Krysiak.

Untested by that effort, Yeovil’s Polish shot-stopper was very nearly beaten by Amond’s attempted lob on the 10-minute mark, but the striker’s shot didn’t dip in time and landed on the roof of the net. 

After a sluggish start the Glovers engineered their first chance of the game, with Alex Lacey heading just wide from a Dolan corner after good work from Whitfield won the set-piece.

Standing strong defensively Way’s side tried to influence proceedings at the other end as the half wore on.

Making his debut, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro linked up well with Tom Eaves before curling an effort just over the bar, as the front three began to influence proceedings.

Having ridden the early Pools storm, the Glovers were dealt a blow with 32 minutes on the clock when Alex Lacey had to be replaced by Darren Ward after picking up an injury in a fully-committed challenge. 

Despite the defensive alteration Yeovil remained strong at the back, with the referee’s whistle ending a scrappy first-half at Victoria Park. 

After an uninspiring opening 45 minutes the Monkey Hangers produced the game’s best chance three minutes after the restart. 

Andrew Nelson’s positive run ended with a low cross from the by-line, but debutant Louis Rooney’s scooped effort was well-placed for Krysiak to tip over the bar. 

Buoyed by that opportunity the Plymouth loanee went close again minutes later, this time rounding Krysiak from a long-ball over the top before having his goal bound shot blocked brilliantly by the covering Ward with the goal gaping. 

With the seagulls swirling above Victoria Park, Town tested the Pools defence for the first time in the second half just before the hour-mark. 

Whitfield’s positive run from midfield afforded Zoko time on the ball, but Matthew Bates was on hand to head behind the veteran’s curling effort.

After surviving that attempt the home side were soon on the attack once again, this time finding their missing element. 

Nelson’s hung-up cross to the back post sought out Amond, and the striker demonstrated impressive neck muscles to head the ball back where it came from over Krysiak and into the back of the net. 

Determined to make it three games unbeaten away from home, the Glovers immediately found a way back into the game. 

Superb work from Zoko by the corner flag saw him turn Nelson inside-out before rampaging into the box where he was brought down by the wideman. 

Against his hometown club Dolan stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, sending Bartlett the wrong way to level the scores. 

Now end-to-end, Way introduced Owain Jones for his debut as the game ticked towards the final ten minutes in a bid to secure three points. 

With that in mind, Town almost went ahead through Dolan when the midfielder’s free-kick from 25 yards had to be tipped over the bar. 

Yeovil ended the game on the front foot with the hosts enduring a nervy final few minutes, but Town couldn’t test Bartlett again as both sides earned a share of the spoils in the North East.

Hartlepool United: Bartlett; Donnelly, Bates, Harrison, Kavanagh; Featherstone, Walker; Nelson, Amond, Alessandra (Thomas 71’); Rooney.
Bookings: Nelson 90’
Subs not used: Fryer, Martin, Richardson, Hawkins, Smith, Oates. 

Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Shephard, Lacey (Ward 32’), Smith, Dickson; Whitfield, Butcher, Dolan; Akpa Akpro (Jones 79’), Eaves (Sowunmi 65’), Zoko.
Bookings: Shephard 40’
Subs not used: Maddison, James, Mugabi, Goodship.

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