August 16, 2015

At Last, After 27 Years



At Last, After 27 Years


Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic


York City 1 Pools 2 (League 2) Saturday August 15th 2015

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As you all know, I do not usually do away games. I have excuses, which I won’t bore you with but suffice to say that today, with the offer of a free lift, I decided to take the plunge. 

You have all heard the jokes about the Englishman the Irishman and the Scotsman. Well today I have a new twist on that one. I travelled to the game at York with a teacher, a solicitor and a football club mascot. Sadly I cannot relay the punch line here as it is a family show, but I will mention the Scotsman, who used to be a Poolie but has now become the unlucky mascot for a Prem side whose fortunes are going awry. I think he should take lessons from a teacher and go and see a solicitor, as it is inhuman to send such an ardent Poolie to watch that rubbish. 

OK I may have got a lift from these Pools fans but they made it plain they did not want an old codger like me cramping their style (all say 'Awwww'), so I was dumped out of the car in some back lane in the middle of York and told to go off and play. Awwwww. 

Well, as you know, we Bizz boys are made of stern stuff so I had a walk around the town centre hoping to see a friendly face, but York was full of tourists so I sat on a step till this old bag lady gave me half a sandwich, which I shared with a pigeon called Fred. 

So after my meal I made my way to the ground and, still not having seen a friendly face, I queued up at the turnstiles, I say queued but I was the first in the queue. Another Awwww is due. The stewards were friendly enough; one asked me if I was ok and did I need an ambulance. I said "no, I am sure my 'friends' will be back soon", but they never arrived, and I stood on my own watching the game. 

The game was a tough old scrap for Pools, against the New York Giants, and one statistic bandied around was that it was in 1988 when we last won a game there. I remember going a couple of seasons ago when it persistently rained on us. I just hope that when they get their new stadium in 2020 covered terracing will be compulsory. 

With an unchanged team and the manager, Mr. Moore, still stranded in Portugal looking after his daughter, who had taken ill while on holiday, Big Sam was still in charge. York, really did have some giants in their side and we lost one of our bigger men to a dirty tackle from a forward who deliberately left his foot in on Worley, who had to go off in the first five minutes of the game.

"I sat on a step till this old bag lady gave me half a sandwich, which I shared with a pigeon called Fred"

There was even an argument developed between Fenwick and a York player, who took exception to Fenwick picking up a huge divot they had left after the pair went into a tackle. Fenwick picked it up and threw it over the barrier where the York player remonstrated with him, and went to pick it up and replace it -maybe he was a golfer! Obviously Fenwick had whispered something in the opposition player's ear and he went mental, facing up to Fenwick till the ref told him to get on with it. I say ref in the loosest of terms because if the hacking of Worley had been a tad later in the game it would have been a card offence.

The giants played to their strength, which was a direct long ball up to the big men, and in this game we were second best to the second ball for most of the first half. We were being overrun in midfield and they were a pretty good side. My notes say Pools under pressure from the big boys, and a succession of corners looked dangerous.

Bartlett, who is in fantastic form, made a couple of great saves, and one of them was a fantastic one-handed save to keep us in the game. York went really close on a couple of occasions during this spell of pressure, one ball bouncing off the angle of the bar and post. We had to sit back and take it, as we could not break loose. We were not playing our usual style of football and they just came the long ball route and we struggled.

There was some desperate defending from Pools to get us through to half time with a clean sheet and, like last week, if we had been two-nil down we could not have complained.

Pools, after a chat from Sam, started to play football and looked better kicking towards our fans, but we went down to a scrappy goal when the ball bounced around like ping pong ball before someone hit it home.

Pools, a goal down, started to get things moving and Fenwick went close with a shot. Flinders, who had earlier been applauded by the Pools fans, was now taking some stick, and looked really as sick as a parrot after Pools scored the equalizer. A great ball from the overlapping Carroll found Paynter, who seemed to have plenty of time to curl a ball over Flinders into the top corner, which sent the travelling fans wild.

I think it was such a relief that we were now playing our football and getting some joy. Bingham became provider for the second, picking up a ball and running on the goal, and found Woods, whose shot hit a centre half giant, who deflected the ball past Flinders. Some would say an own goal, but Woods deserves the credit.

It was a much-deserved win for Pools, for their Never-Say-Die attitude. A great day out for the fans as a chant of "We are unbeatable" rang around the stadium. Not the best of performances, but when you have to grind it out then we did just that.

I made the lonely trek back to where my ‘FRIENDS’ had dropped me off. They had waited for me so I was happy after our 2-1 win, and I did not mind them putting me in the boot as the teacher had bought some shopping and it was taking up my seat. So if they do read this I would just like to thank them for their hospitality and hope that one-day I can repay them in kind.