Portsmouth - As I seen it!


Pools 1 - 1 Portsmouth   Tuesday February 12th

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic


There was a spring in my step today as I trundled to the Vic, Having gone three games without defeat we were to entertain Portsmouth, and having beaten them comfortably at their ground only two weeks ago I was excited and expectant that three points would be in the bag, lifting us from the bottom spot. 

After all they were a team who had pretty much taken our mantle as the whipping boys of the division of late, having not won in the last ten. As we all know life is not that simple and they had come for a fight. 

The first flurries went either way for ten minutes till Pools settled and started to pull them to pieces down the flanks, playing some great football. It was obvious that they decided to target Poole and Franks for special treatment that even the criminal injuries board would be shocked to see. 

As you know I only criticise a ref when he needs to be criticised, and all I have to say is this feller let too much go early on and one of Pools players could have been seriously injured from the tactics used. Pools had them pegged back for ninety percent of the first half making chance after chance but it was not to be. 

Poole came close with a free kick that dipped and skimmed the bar with the keeper beat. Hartley made one super tackle on the edge of the box to deny Portsmouth. I like the look of Wyke who fought tirelessly for the ball despite some crunching tackles and tested their keeper a couple of times when he broke through but sadly no goals once again.

Second half the other Hartlepool team turned up - it was amazing to see the transformation. Pools were on the back foot for most of the half and instead of the flowing football we saw in the first half it was back to hoof ball and a get rid of it mentality. Not one player seemed capable of bringing the ball out or even having the nonce to whelly it clear.

"Second half the other Hartlepool team turned up - it was amazing to see the transformation."They tried to back pass their way out of their own half. It looked as if the two teams had swapped shirts in the tunnel as Pompey ran riot for most of the half with Pools relying on last gasp tackles and a cool Flinders to calm the storm. It was ten minutes before the end when we started to play football again after RH went off for Monky and James came on for Franks. It is obvious now the old warhorse RH cannot play two full games in a week and he should not be expected to.

Monkey and James did liven things a bit and young Jack Baldwin was superb, he was our best defender and in the second half our best attacker, creating two good chances for himself. Poole had a stinging shot blocked and the rebound dropped for him but he hit his second shot over the bar in the dying seconds.

Once again the lack of that killer touch in the box left us with one point from three when we really need them.