As I Seen it - Accrington Stanley

RUNNING MONKEY sees Pools win a league match!

League 2 - at the Vic - POOLS 2 Accrington Stanley 1

"In the words of the great legendary striker and pundit Jimmy Greaves "Football is a Fanny owld Game" * but for Hartlepool United it is more serious than that.

Six league games without a win but storming in the cup. It is games like the Bradford win that help some supporters keep the faith when things look bad. So much so that my mate Ken went home after last week's defeat by Wycombe and dumped all his lucky togs in the poss tub and came today wearing their lass's jumper. He did mention that he was possibly wearing his lucky thong but we are still waiting for the pics. The benefit though was he had a slightly better aroma round him today but that could have been from the foot-long full of onions I saw him devour just before he came to his spot on the terrace.
"Whatever brand of tea Pools use at the interval must have a comatose effect on our players - or is it the team talk?"
First I have to make an apology to both Ken and the C E O of Monkey Bizz (who was attending his first Pools game of the season), for misleading them during what can only be called another "senior moment" - I seem to have more and more of them lately. I had claimed that the visitors today had knocked us out of the tin pot cup. How on earth could I have mistaken the famous Accrington Stanley for Nottingham Forest?

Today was crunch day - the make-or-break of our season - as the visitors Stanley were down there with us holding up the Football League, and both with similar results, but with Pools just edging that race courtesy of a couple of away points. Some might say it is early days, but there is nothing better than points in the bag.

Once again we were kicking the correct way for the home team and in the first attack Monky met a great cross from Franks that he managed to put just wide of the post. Luke made a good run in but also shot wide. Franks again made great ground out wide but this time his cross was cut out as none of the Pools forwards managed to make it into the box.

Persistence proves perfect as Monky slid a ball into Franks who took his opportunity to hit a low shot to make it one nil to the Hartlepool.

On the restart a retreating defender floored Dolan and it was obvious from that moment the ref had left his cards at home, if ever a tackle should deserve a booking that one was it, although one later in the game against Aussie was a shocker that also went unpunished. To make amends for the lack of cards the ref gave a drop ball decision. No matter, as Pools were in the ascendancy now, and went two up with a neat goal from Monky after Luke had won the ball and laid it off for Monky to blast a ball home.

Pools did have the ball in the net again but it was ruled offside. Pools had a lively spell in the start of the second half and the fans expected a rout but give them credit Stanley stuck to the task and came back at us, putting pressure on us and our disciplined play went out of the window. We were not playing the football of the first half and looked the weaker side. Whatever brand of tea Pools use at the interval must have a comatose effect on our players - or is it the team talk?

Franks did manage to force a tip over from their keeper but we were losing the plot as they harried us and managed to pull one back. After a stumble by Burgess they broke free and hit from close in giving Ned no chance. From then on we were on the back foot as the visitors pressed us hard for an equaliser.

Cooper must have been drinking the tea too as he set about pulling the team to bits with a series of substitutions which unsettled Pools even more. Howard and Collins (yes, COLLINS) replaced James and Dolan - ok Dolan had taken a big hit earlier - but James was in great attacking form.

Once Monky was taken off for Rodney that was game up for Pools and we were clinging on for the final bell as the visitors stretched us. You have to applaud the three very hard-fought-for points but this game should have been put to bed in the first half. Despite us being two poor sides we had more opportunity than the visitors and wasted it.

With five points from seven games we are hardly progressing but I suppose we can look forward to the return of the thong at the next home game. I suppose Cooper will be pleased with the win and and possibly even see the green shoots, but in all honesty we still have a task on our hands to stay up.