September 09, 2012

Carlisle - As I seen it!




THE CURSE OF THE PRODIGAL SON  

Pools 1 Carlisle 2   Saturday September 8th

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at Victoria Park

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I needed a good stiff drink before I could put put quill to parchment for this one. So I had two tea bags in my cup and cut down on the milk.

You always think that when a former player returns you have that dread that they will score a match winning screamer, but come on - this was Mattie Robson. Or as he is now known Matthew Robson, ex fullback of this parish. Once again the weather gods looked favourably on the Vic as we were bathed in sunshine and and a decent crowd to boot.

Ken and I were still debating a Howard dive when the ref produced his first card on 2 mins and seventeen seconds. Ok Ken says as, long as it is in our favour. At that moment it hit me like a bullet. The usual play-by-the-book Ken was as bent as a five bob note. My guess is time is catching up on Ken and he is tired of waiting for the Utopian football he dreams of, where all players are gentlemen and shake hands after every tackle, and the last thing on their minds is to cheat the opposition to gain an advantage. 

Ken has now woken from his slumber, smelled the coffee and joined the rank and file punters, who just for once want a homer of a ref who is so biased towards us we can write the score before kick off. Anyway, I stick to my gentlemanly convictions and swear it was a dive and we got a slight advantage from it. Shortly after there was a disgusting tackle on Poole on the far touch line that had me wondering about the parentage of not just the player but the lino and the ref who should have sent off the perpetrator. 

Pools were really putting some pressure on the visitors as we settled early and played some good football. Murray spraying the ball about, Sweeney making some good runs down the middle and chasing balls out wide, and Monky once again looks like he has an appetite for the game. Ex Evertonian Danny Cademarteri and Jon Paul McGovern looked to be the threat for Carlisle but the Pools defence looked well in command. Hartley was playing superbly in the heart of the defence, shutting out any threat from their strikers. 

It was not all one way and occasionally the visitors did manage to get the final ball right and one chance was flapped at by Ned who was straight back on his feet to block the second shot. Paul Murray sent a speculative shot in which had their keeper scurrying along his line to push it wide. Monky, Howard and Poole all tested the keeper but he did well to keep us at bay. Monky lost a ball just in our half and in a flash Ned was diving low to block a shot. Cademarteri turned Hartley in our box and took a lovely ball that fortunately he blasted over the top. 
"Just what does Steve Howard have to do to get a goal?"

Pools were playing the better football at this stage and Poole latched onto a Howard ball and blasted one just inside of the far post from a good angle. Pools one up. Ned was in action just before the break when he tried a punch that he did not get a full hand on, but again was up in a flash to block the second shot. He is showing some good form. 

The miss of the day came early in the second half when the on-loan striker Jervis ran onto a Murray back pass and rounded Ned then managed to hit the top of the Rink End stand with an open goal in front of him. The visitors stepped up their effort and Pools were hard pressed to keep them out. Franks had a header at goal but was too far out for it to bother the keeper and Monky rampaging down the Millhouse side cut into the box and hit a rasping shot the keeper blocked, which fell again for Monky and his shot was saved by the keeper. The visitors had a goal ruled out after a foul on Ned but they were getting more of the ball and looked the more threatening of the two sides. 

Just what does Steve Howard have to do to get a goal? He made space for himself at the back post, ghosted away from his marker, and hit a cross from Aussie that bounced off the bar. A foul by Horwood gave them a chance, which they took at the second attempt after a good block by Ned. My guess it was the frustration from that incident that led Aussie into a clash with Matthew Robson, and Aussie getting his marching orders, but we had lost all concentration by this time and were looking ragged. 

We lost Hartley to an ankle injury and Howard went into the centre half position for a while as we sorted out the subs. In his next attack Howard was sandwiched between two players on the edge of the box and brought down. With the Pools players appealing for a free kick, the ref waved play on and once again the prodigal son of a bitch did the business, and slotted a good shot past Ned to take all three points, and the capitulation was complete in a five minute spell.

We really did let this one go too easily after playing some good football, and with a couple of hard away games to come we are going to have to get our finger out, before the slip becomes a slide.