Bradford - As I seen it!


Pools 0 Bradford City 0   (Pools lost 3-2 on penalties)

Tuesday  9th October 2012

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at Victoria Park


Who were up for the cup? Sadly Pools once again floundered in front of a crowd of 1700 fans. 

A new signing from our illustrious neighbours was probably the highlight of the night as he looks the part and the work rate shown between him and Noble on the night deserved better. Bradford featured an ex-Poolie of sick-note fame, who signed himself off the sick to play against his old team. He did not do a lot but we remembered that all too well.

Sweeney, Murray and Howard were all rested and Monky out through injury made it an interesting line up with RH, and Horwood in midfield, possibly on the strength of his goal last week alongside Walton, with Noble and Wyke the strike force. 

It was obvious from the start that second division Bradford were not here just to make the numbers up. I would say that for most of the game they were the better side tactically. OK some behind me at the game might take issue with that but they went closer to scoring throughout the game and I do not remember us testing their keeper the way Ned was tested. You can’t argue against statistics. 

Walton had a mare. I have never seen so many passes go astray losing possession and he can’t tackle to save his life. I had a discussion at half time with one punter in the Town End who runs a pub close to the ground but shall remain nameless. As with all fans interpretation of events is subjective and he tried to convince me that Walton was actually standing in open space all the game laying the ball off but his teammates were not passing the ball to him. A bit of a contradiction in his argument methinks. Despite him not being the only culprit he did waste a lot of ball and was hooked in the second half by the bench, who obviously agreed with the opinion of a lot of fans last night. To be fair he did have ONE shot that was blocked by the keeper but we expected more from him, and as yet he has not fulfilled what his pedigree promised. 

Noble and Wyke had good chances and linked up well, which could be the ingredient Coops is looking for. Pools rallied late in the first half but on balance I think Bradford more than shaded the half, as Ned was m.o.m. for Pools, making a string of fine saves. 
"The second half went much the same as the first with my mate Ken and I entertaining ourselves by counting the fans"

The second half went much the same as the first with my mate Ken and I entertaining ourselves by counting the fans and guessing from the five set options what is going to happen when we get a corner. Ken is a Gamesmaster and professes to own the last complete set of some obscure football game something akin to Subbuteo. The corner game he developed will not make Ken a fortune but as you will all want to play it the rules are: when Pools get a corner what is going to happen next? The options are: too long; too short; straight to the keeper; straight to the head of a defender; or ball out of play, and you are not allowed to pick the same choice in succession. OK it sounds defeatist but relieves the stress during the game. And yes we are that predictable. 

Back to the game, and Pools really started to rally after Sweeney came on, and Pools really started to run at the opposition, but it was inevitable that we were heading for the dreaded shoot out. As you know I am not one for naming names but I was surprised at the list of penalty takers with only Aussie and Wyke striking the net and the other three all hitting the woodwork to give Bradford City an easy trip into the next round. 

Looking at our position in the league we had best concentrate our efforts in that direction once again, but there is always the FA Cup, where we usually get Sweet FA. Jack Baldwin could have shaded Ned for m.o.m.; he is a class act and on the night took a physical hammering from a centre forward who enjoyed the freedom to play his man throughout the game.

Darren Holden in his second start looks to be growing in confidence and made some good runs down the left flank.  Horwood did well enough but tended to drop deep to his full back berth at times. Hartley had a steady game and tested the keeper with a good header. Franks came into his own late in the game peppering the box with good crosses. Not all doom and gloom but sad to say we should have seen this team off before the penalty shoot out. Roll on Saturday.