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Match Reports

Hartlepool United 0-0 Latics

1 January 2022

© Eddie Garvey

Latics were left to reflect on missed chances at the start and finish of the game as they began the New Year with a point at Hartlepool.

After the stalemate at Barrow in midweek, this was a second goalless draw in the space of three days for Selim Benachour’s side, although their return should perhaps have been greater.

While Davis Keillor-Dunn hit the crossbar when through on goal in the opening stages, Jack Stobbs had a golden chances as the final whistle loomed before fellow substitute Daylan Bahamboula shot narrowly wide in added time.

Having struck the woodwork three times themselves, Hartlepool will also feel that they could have secured the win but after a busy schedule, Latics will take heart from the point and performance.

This was the third game in the space of a week for Benachour’s side and the Interim Head Coach made one change from the draw at Barrow, Jamie Bowden replacing Jamie Hopcutt in midfield as the visitors also switched shape to a 4-3-3.

A lively start belied the poor recent form of both sides, the best chance of the opening half falling to Latics.

With space opening up invitingly in front of him as he approached the edge of the area on nine minutes, Keillor-Dunn opted to try to lift a shot over Ben Killip, only for his effort to strike the crossbar when he ought to have done better.

That chance aside, the early exchanges belonged to the home side, who were also denied by the woodwork when Gevan Holohan’s shot at the far post hit the upright after a scramble in the Latics area.

Nicky Featherstone saw a shot deflected wide, while Jayson Leutwiler got down low to parry a drive from David Ferguson but after a bright opening from the home side, Latics showed increased purpose.

Their growing confidence was shown with two chances for Bowden as he received the ball outside the area from a Nicky Adams corner. Having seen his initial effort blocked by Featherstone, the Latics midfielder then placed the rebound wide.

Although Luke Molyneux, on as a first-half substitute, flashed a fierce shot wide of the visitors’ goal, Latics remained the stronger side, Bowden again going close before Killip had to readjust as Gary Liddle sent a header from an Adams cross towards his own goal.

As in the first half, Hartlepool re-emerged after the break with intent, Featherstone sending a shot just wide of the post before Ferguson struck the woodwork with an angled first-time effort.

Having made his introduction as a half-time substitute, Hopcutt had a great chance for the visitors, receiving a pass from Sam Hart in a central position. He did well to turn but was unable to keep his shot down.

Despite opportunities for Holohan and Molyneux, the second half was relatively quiet until a frenetic finish saw both sides go close.

Hopcutt had another great chance after being played in by Stobbs but after doing well to create the chance his low effort was saved by Killip.

The home side hit the woodwork for a third time when Leutwiler touched a header from Holohan onto a post before two late chances for Latics.

Stobbs was unable to get his shot on target having been played clean through into a great position by Bahamboula, who then placed an angled shot inches wide in added time.

 

Oldham Athletic: Leutwiler, Clarke (Stobbs 41), Hart, McGahey (Hopcutt 46), Piergianni, Adams, Whelan, Hope, Keillor-Dunn, Bowden (Bahamboula 64), Diarra.

Subs not used: Rogers, Couto, Vaughan, Turner.

Hartlepool United: Killip, Sterry, Byrne, Liddle, Odusina, Ferguson, Featherstone, Shelton, Holohan, Burey (Grey86), Cook (Molyneux 34).

Subs not used: Boyes, Francis-Angol, Crawford, Daly, Olomola.

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 5,026 (381 away).


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