Tranmere - As I seen it!


Pools 0 - Tranmere   Tuesday November 7th

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic


Nothing like a top versus bottom home game to whet the appetite once again after being put to the sword in the first round of the cup by lowly opposition, speaking of which just when should footballers retire?

A bloke called Whitaker has blighted my life for long enough now. I have been patient and got to the point of ignoring him even if he was on the bench for the opposition, hoping against hope he was injured and just making up the numbers. My blood would run cold at the mention of his name. This gentleman, and I use the word as a compliment, has run my team ragged for what seems like a millennium. He pops up all over the place, is a superb advert for Royal Jelly, does the business against us every time he plays, then he is off. He is a superb athlete for his age; he makes the game look simple by doing the basic things simply. He looks like a bleached Mo Farah and runs just as good. Sorry to digress, but at least he was not turning out for Tranmere, so we had a chance.

Four changes from the last outing and some of the fans were still not happy. The buzzword around the ground was not relegation but managers. Half a dozen in the stand either waiting for the call into the IOR Chambers, or were they only vultures ready to pick over the carcase in the next game? An announcement is due on Thursday by all accounts. So if you are reading this after that day, best wishes with the new regime.

I spoke to Gary Liddle, who was taking in his first Pools game as a fan and he said everything was going well for him, player of the month recently. I commented it looked as if he got out just in time, to which he gave a wry smile. I was left to my own devices for this one as my mate Ken was on a gynaecology course or something like that.

Enough of the side show onto the main event, the return of Ronnie Moore without the errant son. Word was, they were top of the league that had faltered a little of late. So where better to end a run, yes the Vic. Over the years I bet we have started and ended more good or bad runs for the opposition than any other team in the divisions, or am I just being sarkey in my dotage?

One player, Cassidy for the opposition was reported to have scored ten goals from thirteen shots. At the Vic last night he was pretty anonymous but when you switch that statistic round, thirteen shots in thirteen games is a poor average for even a on-loan striker. That is the trouble with on-loan players, sometimes they have to go back.

Tranmere started brightly and Jervis in particular looked dangerous, and Hartley managed to scramble a ball from over the goal line to save our early embarrassment, but it was in, so a little luck to Pools but we could have been two down in six minutes.

For the rest of the half we competed and Franks was going great guns down the left. We were so good I saw one midfielder for Pools make THREE tackles and he also spooned a drive over the bar from the edge of the box. Robinson the Tranny midfielder was running the show and was summarily booked for simulation after his expert dive on the edge of the box. I may be naive but it beats me why people who are privileged to play football for a living feel the need to cheat.

"Over the years I bet we have started and ended more good or bad runs for the opposition than any other team..."
Aussie made a run on goal and his shot screamed just wide of the mark but it was a good effort from the full back. It was a decent half were we did compete, but again some fans in the town end started to sing "Kumbayah", finishing off with "We Shall Overcome". How times have changed on the terrace.

Second half started with a great run into the box by Franks who hit his shot at the keeper. Watching the ‘MIDFIELDER” I got the impression he was dumping the ball either that or his one touch football skills were rubbish. Ned was having a good game. Rumours were that he was being watched by Villa, so this game won’t have done him any harm.

Robinson again tested Ned but he was equal to it. As the game wore on we were looking to be under pressure as Tranmere stepped up their game and once again we were lacking in the attacking department around the box. Hartley stuck out a leg in the box for the attacker to dive over but you cannot argue with the decision and Robinson sent Ned the wrong way from the spot.

Buoyed by their success Tranmere ran out the half with another goal as their fans chanted "Top of the League".

Seems so long ago now that we were unbeatable.