April 08, 2015

Southend (h) - As I Seen It

As I Seen It -Burton Albion (h)

STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP

POOLS 0 - SOUTHEND UNITED 1   League 2  Saturday 4th April 2015

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic

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This was always going to be a tough game as the Easter programme puts pressure on the squad and we don’t need many injuries to turn us into a weaker side. 

We were a man down in the first minute as Hugill went off after the first challenge and never came back. He was taken to hospital after the club doc had checked him out and Marlon was the player to replace him. If ever he owed us a game this was going to be it.

As you know I never slag off officials unnecessarily, but the Ditchburn Poolie had just told me that he was a bar steward so was probably full of drink. Allegedly. To give Marlon his due this was one of his better games and he held the line well, won plenty of balls in the air but collectively the team today was out of sorts. Maybe the Friday game took it out of them but so many missed passes and stupid hacked balls just gave the advantage to the visitors.

Southend went close but the virtual open goal was shunned by the visitors’ striker who hit his shot wide of the mark. The visitors rattled us a little as they came on strong and were not too shy in dishing out the treatment, kicking everything with a ball.

Marlon managed to get a decent header in after run and cross from Tishi. At the other end the gaps were showing early in the game as we looked as if we had no answer to their attacking play. Walker was not in the game but managed to hit one shot that was blocked,.

Featherstone was again probably our most productive player but struggled to shake off the shackles of the visitors' close marking. Marlon, whom the Ditchburn said reminded him of the Archbishop of York (but my guess was that he had eaten too many cream eggs), did get one decent shot off that was wide of the mark. We rallied a little just before the break through some good work by Featherstone, who set up Duckworth, whose shot was weak but the ball just would not drop for him.
"Harrison was pushed up front and he really set about their defence, causing quite a stir, judging by the animation on the visitors' bench."
Just before the break there seemed to be some consternation in the crowd that a Southend player was allowed to stay on the field after a clash, yet our player was told to go off and then return. It was in the extra five minutes added by the officials that the ref decided he had brought his cards and booked a visiting player for repeatedly chopping down Tishi, a shame he had not done it after the fourth foul and not the fourteenth, as was the case.

Part two started and the expected early goal did not come before the Carrolls had returned after their half time glass of sherry. They did miss the early visitors' goal, which stemmed from some very poor defending and people not taking the initiative to hoof the ball away.

Walker, who did get a shot in, was taken off as he was out of the game, and young Hawkins, who replaced him, had a decent half. Jones thought he had scored, and even from the other end of the field so did the Town End, whose celebrations were short lived as there was no reaction from the ref.

Pools were slowly building the pressure on the visitors and were now making a game of it. Franks also made a great diagonal run that looked promising but that extra touch he always seems to need gave the opposition the chance to force him wide.

It was now Pools' turn to pressure the visitors as they put a lot of effort in the attack. Harrison was pushed up front and he really set about their defence, causing quite a stir, judging by the animation on the visitors' bench.

Marlon and Hawkins went close in the dying minutes, the latter trying an overhead kick, but Pools ran out unlucky losers against another top side, especially in the second half, when we gave a good account of ourselves, buoyed on by the five thousand three hundred fans.

A good thing that all the other results went for us today.