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RESERVES: Pools 4 - 0 United

Report from the Tuesday afternoon away game

10 September 2019

United's second bounce game of the season was the trip across to Victoria Park to face old rivals Hartlepool United on Tuesday afternoon.

United started brightly, with a 3-4-3 formation (Charters slightly advanced in the middle four) and Loft used his height and strength early to let the defenders know he was there.

But it was Pools who fashioned the first chance when Shepherd ran from deep with the ball under his control. He shot as he reached the edge of the box but that took a deflection and spun wide of the upright.

The hosts came again, as Holohan pulled wide, and Gray did well to parry a well-struck effort which came low and hard as Hawkes made space for the shot. Kabamba reacted quickly to get onto the loose ball and he had the simple task of slotting it into the waiting net.

A long punt over the top found Kabamba in space moments after the restart and Holohan checked his run before calling for the ball. His first time effort had to be saved by a smart dive from Gray.

Hartlepool took advantage of space on the flanks and a deep cross found the lively Kabamba on the move. He picked his spot with a neat downward header to double both his tally and the lead.

United had set piece opportunities to test the home defence, but good handling and quick clearances kept the visitors at bay.

Good work from Loft saw him cushion a pass forward from Birch for Sorensen to chase as the Cumbrians tried to settle. He immediately spread it to Kerr, but Hemming had stepped across to gather the 18-yard volley that followed into his chest. 

Excellent football from Carlisle on the half hour saw Birch beat the offside trap on the left flank. His delivery was met on the full by Sorensen but Hemming got down to make a good two-handed diving save. A rushed clearance prevented Sorensen from having a second bite of the cherry. 

Pools almost grabbed a third just before the break when Holohan came out of a meaty challenge on the halfway line with space to work in. He set off on the charge and Gray was relieved to see a low 18-yard shot creep past the post.

But Hartlepool came again and Kabamba bagged his hat-trick when he shrugged off a challenge to finish off a slick home move and to give his side a three-goal advantage heading into the half-time team talks.

Keeper Louis Gray had to show concentration early in the second period when Pools broke through lines on the left wing. A toe poke from Featherstone had power but the stopper was equal to it as he got down to make the block.

Better came from Carlisle as they sparked a good move down the left with Kerr heavily involved. Loft moved first to meet the cross but his volley was charged down. 

The visitors had only themselves to blame for the fourth goal as they dallied in possession inside their own half. Holohan broke clear as an unexpected pass came his way and he left Gray with no chance as he drilled his shot into the bottom corner.

Canice Carroll was unlucky not to score late in the day when he sat deep as a cross came in. His volley had the keeper well beaten but an outstretched defender's leg did enough to divert it over the bar.

And Loft was thwarted as he nicked possession from a loose clearance, when had just the keeper to beat. He tried to drag it round the slide but Hemming got enough on it to take it away from his boot. 

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Hartlepool United - Hemming, Miller, Richardson, Crichlow-Noble, Holohan, Featherstone, Bale, Shepherd, Hawkes, Kabamba, James. Subs - Young, Muir, Fox, Webster, Willoughby, Thompson, Leonard.

Goals - Kabamba (7, 12, 41), Holohan (78)

Carlisle United - Gray (c), Barnes, Hayden, Mellish, Branthwaite, Birch, Carroll, Charters, Sorensen, Kerr (Wilson 62), Loft. Subs - McLachlan, Bell, Lightfoot.


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