Swindon - As I seen it!


Swindon Town 1 - 1 Pools   Saturday February 9th

Match report by BILL THE BIRO at The County Ground


Many Poolies I know are aware that I tend to attend most Pools matches within 100 miles of my South Midlands home. Well, this season has broken with tradition. To be honest, suitable matches would come along but I just didn't seem to be able to find any enthusiasm. Even a first look at a new ground (Shrewsbury) couldn't inspire me to shell out more than £50 for the privilege of probably seeing Pools lose.

However, come a bit of relative success (two wins on the trot) and it was back to normal service. So it was that I drove south through the Cotswolds heading for Swindon, for my first match of the season.

I was looking forward to this one, because it had all the hallmarks of being another classic banana-skin match. Swindon were close to a takeover, thus avoiding administration and a 10-point deduction. Their manager had been talking about walking out for a week but still hadn't done so, so was maybe staying on. Add to that their midweek win at Colchester, and they had grounds for optimism, knowing they'd be playing the bottom club at home. All they'd have to do was turn up!

Pools ran out in the old dark blue away strip, which isn't nearly as nice as the dark red one, but obviously both teams playing in red may have caused problems. From the off, Pools were trying to play football, and Swindon were too, although Swindon were having slightly more of the ball.

Early on Flinders had to demonstrate his skills, and then on 15 minutes Pools were a goal down. An obviously well-practised interchange of Swindon passes from the back caused confusion in the middle and Flinders was beaten.

"Obviously Hughes had been told that Monky used to play for Swindon, and that the locals know he always scores for us here."
Franks and Poole were proving a bit ineffectual at this time, both being easily outmuscled. However Wyke, Humphreys and Walton all seemed to be enjoying themselves, and Swindon, while being more dominant, weren't looking to be in complete charge.

After the interval things continued much the same for a while until a spell of Flinders brilliace seemed to both galvanise Pools and deflate Swindon at the same time. In a minute or so he pulled off three really good saves.

Pools' first sub was Monkhouse. Obviously Hughes had been told that Monky used to play for Swindon, and that the locals know he always scores for us here. So, after the expected booing, sure enough Monky scored for the now more fired up Pools.

And that's how it continued,  James and Luscombe came on towards the end to stir things up a bit, and the draw was a fair result in what for Poolies at least was an entertaining match.

Perhaps with a bit more effort, all three points might have come our way, but four away matches unbeaten is a fair record especially considering how things were at Christmas.