There was no separation on the scoreline between Gloucester City and Poole Town, but on the pitch the two were a class apart for large periods.
Marc Richards’ side will be left wondering how they didn’t win the game, but the Tigers manager will no doubt look towards two mistakes from his goalkeeper James Hamon and his defence for both of Poole’s goals.
The last time Severn Sport saw Gloucester play was on New Year’s Day against Oxford City, where they trialled a fluid 5-2-1-2 formation and it was back in force at the Jubilee Stadium, with Karnell Chambers and Ed Williams supporting Ethan Moore as a free flowing trio of attackers.
Tom Webb and Chris Knowles provided a solid base in midfield to initiate the attacks and bring full backs Lewis Hall and Kieran Thomas into the play. The centre back trio of Sam Avery, Robbie Cundy and Kieran Parselle communicated well as their confidence within the formation was evidently growing.
Perhaps the only sour point of the system was Poole’s willingness to put James Hamon under pressure in net, with the on loan Exeter ‘keeper clearly uncomfortable with his feet on the poor surface – a theory proved early on as he struck a clearance straight into the path of Warren Bentley who kept his cool to give his side the lead.
The Tigers would be straight back on the offensive, though, and some excellent play down the right from Chambers won his team a corner. Williams floated it and after Cundy headed goalwards, Knowles got underneath it six yards out to help it into the back of the net.
Again Chambers was exploiting the flanks and Poole’s less than mobile back line to get in behind to pull it back to Moore who went at it with his right foot when he should’ve swung his left at it and Jamie Whisken made the block.
The second half commenced as the first had finished, with City on the front foot. However, a bizarre own goal attributed to Lewis Hall have Poole their lead back. Hall, facing his own goal, played a calm back pass to Hamon who swung a hapless foot at the bobbling ball and it trickled into the back of the net.
City would continue the assault on Poole’s defence and won a corner shortly after the restart. Keen to outdo his fellow full back Hall, Jordan Alawode-Williams rose well in the box and headed a bullet into the top corner of his own net to bring it back level.
More pressure would come from City. Rhys Kavanagh hooked a half volley wide and Joe Parker shot straight at the keeper. At the other end, Corby Moore missed from inside six yards as both sides played out the remaining minutes and claimed a point apiece.
Gloucester City: Hamon, Thomas, Parselle, Cundy, Avery, Knowles, Chambers, Webb, Moore, Williams, Hall
Subs: Hanks, Parker, Kelly, Kavanagh, Morford
Poole Town: Hutchings, Alawode-Williams, Aihevba, Spetch, Whisken, Moore, Baghdadi, Bedford, Bentley, Brooks, Gillespie
Subs: Lindsay, Rees, Balmer, Devlin, Pettefer