April 28, 2014

As I Seen It - Morecambe (h)

A HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF

Pools 2 - Morecambe 1   League 2 Monday April 21st 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic

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As usual Pools always do things the hard way. 

With the loss of our star striker, apparently tripped up at Boston by a raised sprinkler cover, surely there should be a claim made for that crime. 

Poolies were hoping just for a point to stop the visitors moving too far away, and most of us were wondering where were the goals would come from or if we could build a wall around our goal and defend it for ninety-seven minutes. A Little boost was that the early kick off had seen the Dale beat Bristol. 

The Ditchburn was unable to bring his lucky charm cousin who has seen seven wins out of eight games but was otherwise engaged with an extended family bash. One new face at the Vic today was none other than Saltburn Poolie who has not been for two seasons. Another omen for the day was that Flinders was back. Nothing against Raffa as he did well enough but after six defeats on the trot and despite limited choices a change of personnel was due. 

It did not look good for the home fans today, but it was a good turn out of fans with the fiver entrance, I was almost tempted to buy one myself as it was cheaper than the season ticket. I commented to those who would listen this should have been done when we were excited about the play-offs and not as a desperate measure at the end of the season. 

For once we won a toss and kicked up the bank for the first half, as it should be every game. Fingers were being pointed and agitated Morecambe players were berating the ref for not taking more action against a Monky tackle. It turns out this is part of their game and, sad to say, especially in the first half, the Wearside official fell for it hook line and sinker. 

All Wearside officials apparently hate coming to Hartlepool. Well, after this season's bunch of TWITS we do not need you. Most of them have been bloody awful and the Ditchburn does not lie. 

Walton took a free kick that tested the keeper and as Morecambe came straight back at us Ned took a good catch under his bar that looked like it was a goal. Monky set up Marlon whose shot was blocked but the following corner was wasted. 

Morecambe got the measure of us after about fifteen minutes and we were being pushed back and found it difficult to get the ball clear. Pools under pressure conceded a good goal scored by Ellison who just waited at the back post and had a clear header. Which we never got near to defending. 
"A rip-roaring second half delighted the home fans and a visiting Mackem fan on a cheap day trip totally agreed. "

Once again under pressure we were our own worst enemies, playing long balls to space with no one in them. We pumped balls down both flanks but whether players were out of position or that was not the agreed plan we looked awful and wasted a lot of possession. 

Holden made a last gasp challenge to stop a certain goal just on half time, and both the team and the fans were relieved at the half time whistle, as we were under a lot of pressure. 

Shortly into the second half Pools were a man down as Walton was given a straight red. From where I was it looked a dead cert but fans closer to the incident were in uproar down the Millhouse side, but you would expect that. In my mind Walton deserved to walk, and it was not his first offence of the game either. The visitors had been feigning injury and going down at the slightest contact, and the concerted effort of his teammates may have persuaded the official’s decision. So with a straight red and the end of season looming we may not see him again. 

Once again a man down and Pools played the better football and started to get back into the game with the visitors looking decidedly edgy. No slight on Walton then. Poole, who was once again in and out of the game, was replaced by Compton. Those around me who said he should be first on the to go list soon changed their collective minds when he raced through, dismissed any form of tackle on him and hit a brilliant shot past the Morecambe keeper to make it one all, and the Vic was bouncing. Not seen that in a long time. 

Compton was in action again soon after as he raced to cover and block a shot in the box that Flinders was able to clear. Once again the doubters said Barmby was another one for the bin until he raced through and teased the keeper and cool as you like stroked the ball home with the keeper stranded. 

As I said before, these players on loan from big - no, massive clubs are not going to break their necks for a fourth division outfit, but in Barmby’s case he probably won’t be back but he probably has saved our season. So I only hope the fans in the CK who barracked him after he was taken off in front of his father need to look again at themselves, or at least think twice about how they treat loanees. 

Walker has had an up and down spell since his award and the best of his three long range shots today really rattled the visitors' bar and Franks, with THAT extra touch he always seems to need, hit the rebound straight at the keeper. 

The extra five minutes added by the official set the nerves jangling again as Morecambe pressed us at the end but the ten man Pools had pulled off a very unlikely escape from the drop to non-league, and my guess is that the coffee in Darlo will have a bitter taste tonight. For those who do not remember Darlo they are a lower than low former league side that had pretentions of grandeur sometime ago. 

As a Pools fan you never know from one game to the next what to expect from our team. Well today was totally unexpected; maybe we were relying on other teams to save our skin, was one of the comments said to me at half time. To a certain extent I think most of us thought that too. A rip-roaring second half delighted the home fans and a visiting Mackem fan on a cheap day trip totally agreed. 

Chants of ‘Poolie till I die” echoed around the ground; it seemed so long ago since we heard that with such gusto. The visiting Mackem also agreed with my man-of-the-match choice of HOLDEN, who was superb today and really more than battled for the cause. Granted we have some players who will do that, but the consensus is that once again we need a partial clear out.

Sam was supposed to be a back four coach, but without his experience we would have been goosed this season. Harrison the Sunderland lad had a far more comfortable game than last week and to me looks like he is one to keep. 

Rumour was that Chris Riggott had turned down the job of Number Two. Just maybe he thought today was going to be a black Monday in the history of HUFC.