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nPower League Two
HALF TIME: Hartlepool United 0 Swindon Town 0
SWINDON Town and Hartlepool are level at 0-0 at half-time in their opening League One fixture of the season.
Both sides have enjoyed several chances in front of goal, with Matt Ritchie seeing his point-blank header saved by Scott Flinders in the Pools goal and Wes Foderingham stopping Steve Howard’s long-range piledriver.
But a clumsy game has been punctuated by errors and fouls and neither team has been able to establish any kind of rhythm.
Here are the key moments from today’s first half:
One min: A long ball from Joe Devera gets caught up in the wind a little and causes a moment of panic in the Hartlepool defence.
Andy Williams controls the ball neatly on his chest and lets fly from 20 yards, but it is easy for Hartlepool keeper Scott Flinders.
Two mins: The Pools defence allows Williams space down the right, he delivers to the back post where Raffa De Vita nods the ball into the path of Tommy Miller but the former Hartlepool man’s volley is comfortably saved by Flinders.
Four mins: Town go close again. Matt Ritchie is flattened on the right wing and he sends the resultant free-kick fizzing at head height across the six-yard line.
Paul Benson rises to meet it but his flicked header drifts narrowly wide.
11 mins: Wes Foderingham is given a difficult back pass to deal with by Jay McEveley and, under pressure from Steve Howard, he kicks straight to Anthony Sweeney but the Hartlepool man’s 35-yard effort is tame and allow Foderingham to recover and save.
14 mins: Andy Monkhouse is in acres of space at the back post when Jonathan Franks chips a delicate ball across the ball, but the former Swindon man cannot control the ball and McEveley steals in to clear Heart-in-mouth moment for the travelling Town faithful behind Foderingham’s goal.
17 mins: A golden chance goes begging for the visitors as Raffa De Vita picks out Ritchie at the back post but his header is saved at point-blank range by Flinders.
21 mins: Franks' first-time effort from the edge of the area goes flying over the stand housing the Town fans.
23 mins: Hartlepool really start to get a stranglehold on the game and James Poole should do better than nod his free header over the bar from 12 yards when picked out by Franks.
25 mins: Again the hosts have a sight of goal as Howard benefits after Tommy Miller is robbed of possession in the middle of the park.
Howard drills at goal from distance but it’s straight at Foderingham, who can make an easy save.
27 mins: Town finally string together a semi-meaningful passage of play and it ends with a chance in front of goal.
McEveley crosses from the left but the ball is behind Ritchie, who cannot get any purchase on his shot which bobbles into the arms of Flinders.
34 mins: Town are making a habit of messing around with possession in their own half and again they gift their opponents a shot at goal.
Joe Devera’s pass to Alan Navarro is well off-target and the ball breaks to Poole whose 30-yard chip, with Foderingham off his line, drifts over the crossbar.
SWINDON TOWN: Wes Foderingham; Joe Devera, Alan McCormack, Troy Archibald-Henville, Jay McEveley; Matt Ritchie, Tommy Miller, Alan Navarro, Raffa De Vita; Andy Williams, Paul Benson
Substitutes: Leigh Bedwell, Nathan Thompson , Aden Flint, Oliver Risser, Simon Ferry, Luke Rooney, James Collins
HARTLEPOOL: Scott Flinders, Neil Austin, Sam Collins, Peter Hartley, Evan Horwood, Jonathan Franks, Simon Walton, Anthony Sweeney, Andy Monkhouse, James Poole, Steve Howard.
Substitutes: Ritchie Humphreys, Jack Baldwin, Darren Holden, Paul Murray, Nathan Luscombe, Luke James, Colin Nish.