KUDUS AND POOLS RIDE THEIR LUCK
RONNIE Moore admitted Hartlepool United rode their luck as they overcame Cheltenham to make FA Cup progress thanks to Kudus Oyenuga’s first goal for the club.
Left-winger Oyenuga struck in first-half stoppage time and it proved to be enough to sink the National League Robins, who will wonder how they failed to score having controlled much of the game.
A combination of wasteful finishing and outstanding goalkeeping from ex-Cheltenham stopper Trevor Carson saw the League Two club avoid an upset at Victoria Park.
“It was a battle and we knew it would be tough, but we never got going from start to finish,” Moore said.
“We’ve played better and lost, but you take the win and we had so much luck in the game, something we’ve not had lately and let’s hope this is the kick up the backside we need to win league games.
“Our keeper is making too many saves.
“You wouldn’t believe how much work we do on possession, but we didn’t do it.
“We kicked it away and hung on.
“The back four earned the clean sheet, Trevor was fantastic and he should not have to make that many saves.
“We are in the draw, how, I don’t know. We have a lot of work to do and we aren’t daft and the supporters aren’t daft.”
Cheltenham bos Gary Johnson, meanwhile, was hugely disappointed to see his side beaten as they spurned chance after chance in the second half but failed to beat their former number one.
“In the last ten minutes we gave it everything, but it was a winnable game and I am disappointed we haven’t won it,” Johnson said.
“We weren’t clinical enough in their penalty area. We had plenty of chances, but we lost it in the first half when we wanted to play, but we weren’t getting in among them.
“We didn’t create enough or show enough intent then. We showed more intent in the second half, but it was too late and I ended up having to move players around.
“That got us the opportuni- ty to nearly win the game, but I am gutted we’re out of the cup because we shouldn’t be.
“I am really disappointed with the lads.
“It was a big game and we did put the effort in, but I need to see more mental toughness and better final balls if they are going to make good careers in the game.”
The all-important goal came when Nicky Featherstone and Kyle Storer went into a challenge on the edge of the box. After a scramble, Rakish Bingham slid the ball into the path of Oyenuga, who fired past Dillon Phillips.
Billy Waters missed from a good position with a header before Carson made a remarkable reaction save to keep out Harry Pell’s shot from point-blank range.
Cheltenham hit the woodwork when Lee Vaughan flicked Rob Dickie’s effort the bar seconds before the final whistle sounded and the Robins’ fate was sealed.
REPELLED: Harry Pell is held off by Kudus Oyenuga. Inset, Billy Waters forces a save from Trevor Carson
STAR MAN ADAM JACKSON