As I Seen It - Chesterfield (h)

WORST AT HOME THIS SEASON

Pools 1 - Chesterfield 2   League 2 Saturday April 12th 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic

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Four defeats on the trot and another top team visiting the Vic with the added flavour of Richie Humphreys making his return after leaving the club under a cloud, or smokescreen which has still not cleared. 

The news on the Pools team was a mixed bag. Walton out injured in the warm-up, so not all bad, then Walton recovered and limps onto the pitch at the start. A debut for the centre half Harrison from the Mackems, one of two players who the club are looking at for next season if you believe the rumour. 

After a minute's silence perfectly observed for the Liverpool 96, the game got off to a brisk start and initially I was conned into believing the visitors were a long-ball hoof team, as for the first ten minutes the long balls were lumped into the Pools box with Rafferty, who was keeping Ned from the position, dealing ably with some very good high ball takes that he made look very easy. 

The official report will have you believe that we were competing but the truth is, this has to have been the worst home performance of the season. OK we have Monkhouse Burgess, Austin, and Sweeney all out, either by choice of the manager or injury. Another point is we have only won one game since Hignett left, not excuses but it is odd that a month ago some fans were talking of play-offs and I think the Ditchburn will agree with me that it was never going to happen. 

Now we are in deep ship. The game to come with Morecambe will make or break us and push us down to non-league football, and it will possibly be our fate, especially if we have to rely on other results to save our asses. OK I may not be my happy chirpy self today but watching your season die in such a way is not a happy sight to see. 
"It has been said already this season that there are no real good teams in this division but it also has to be said, and the position proves it, we are certainly one of the poorer sides"
There was very little for us in this game today; after the first fifteen minutes we were back-pedalling throughout the game. It was a good break against the run of play as Luke opened the scoring; he broke free and raced forward, curling a superb left foot shot past the advancing keeper. 

That was it for the day, Barmby had his worst game yet, but can you blame him? When the lad is on the fringe of the Manure side he is not going to break sweat for the Pools cause is he? 

Chesterfield came back at us and piled on the pressure, and from a corner the ball dropped three yards from the line and it was poked home, making it one all. 

It was a struggle to keep the score at one all into the break but there was even worse to come in the second half. As it was at the Rink End and my eyesight is little better than the Ditchburn’s, it looked like a very good goal to me. Lucky some say but the guy attacked the defence, got to the angle of the box, right of the goal, and whether he meant it or not he hit a brilliant shot to the top corner on the left side of the Pools goal. 

It was downhill from there on as the crowd got agitated by some very odd decisions made by the ref, but as I have been told before we cannot blame the ref all the time. It was difficult to watch as the skill gap between the teams made the visitors look a superior side. 

Marlon had a chance when he was clear through and hit a scruffy shot that barely rolled up to their keeper. Oliver, the other Mackem, also made his debut but it was hard to judge him on the time he was on. Harrison looked ok in parts but with Sam and Sideways bellowing at him if he miss-hit a ball it will not help his confidence. 

Just maybe Collins should be bellowing at Sideways as on more than one occasion he did his party piece, losing the ball in midfield causing his defence problems. To be fair I did notice one occasion when he raced back and made a tackle, but that does not outweigh the rest of the mistakes of a so-called senior player. 

Once again Luke worked his socks off but had little support from his teammates, or from the ref, who once again let the child-bashing continue unabated throughout the game. 

Sam had another good game but the standard today looked little better than non-league level, where we could end up. It has been said already this season that there are no real good teams in this division but it also has to be said, and the position proves it, we are certainly one of the poorer sides. 

Whether Ned is on the way we do not know but Rafferty did himself no harm today considering what he had in front of him. 

Please Pools, let's have a rally and not go down with a whimper.