As I Seen It - Rochdale (h)


Pools 0, Rochdale 3   League 2  Saturday January 11th 2013

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic


OK, I was not that surprised by today’s result, as we never beat Rochdale. Ever since time began, home or away, I do not remember us beating them.

I suppose statistically we probably have beaten them at sometime but for my fragile psyche, today was only going to be another defeat. After all they beat the once mighty L***s by five last week and beat us 3-0 at the start of the season; why should I feel any different as we have struggled of late and look to be on the slide.

It was actually a decent start to the game as, after a brief spell from them I would say we more then held our own. Young Walker made a good run and managed a shot on goal. Luke was dragged down on the edge of the box for the seventh time in six minutes. Ok a little exaggeration but I bet the foul count against him in the first twenty minutes was in more than double figures. They were physical but how many teams in this league are not? I can only think of one.

Richards was taking the dead ball kicks and one made it into the box where Luke was bundled over trying to shoot but as we know early fouls against Pools do not count. OK, I am not going to blame the ref again, this defeat was our own making but he certainly set the tone for the game, turning a blind eye to a huge defender rolling over Luke every time Luke turned him. It was well into the second half before the ref even warned the defender.

There were chances at both ends: Burgess for Pools headed over; a good move between Poole and Luke as he tested the keeper, who made a good block that was cleared. Richards scraped a shot off the bar and Burgess had a shot blocked. Late in the half Pools were seeing more of the ball. A great chance by Poole came from a ball in by Monky, Poole hit the shot on the volley but the keeper was equal to it just before the break.

Speaking of which. The half time Ditchburn lecture was all about the problems with today’s football rules. He would like to see a change. When you see a player consistently being barged to the ground or fouled over and over again, as in the case of Luke throughout a game, which is being totally ignored by officials, then the Ditchburn would like to see a team penalized by the foul count on that player. As it stands eleven individual players could take turns knocking seven bells out of Luke, and getting off scot-free. So if three players took out Luke that third player would be booked. The only flaw I see in this is that Luke could take thirty-three fouls in the first half and all the opposition stay on the field with one booking each. Ah well it made interesting hat at the time.

The second half was predictable: we were muscled out of the game and they hit us with a sucker early in the half. After a Dale corner, what looked like a rebound found itself in the net.
"OK, I was not that surprised by today’s result, as we never beat Rochdale. Ever since time began home or away I do not remember us beating them."
Monky was playing more upfront now and did get a chance but it was blocked, Luke sent in a cross that Franks picked up, side stepped his man and instinctively took another touch and his shot was blocked. Why oh why does he have to have that extra touch in front of goal?

A handball appeal from a corner was ignored by the official; Monky raced into to shoot from close range but Luke was ruled offside before he laid the ball off.

Dale went two up when a rebound ball was picked up outside the box and a great strike hit the top corner making it two nil. Walton, who was drafted in for Duckworth, once again performed his party piece: got caught on the ball, turned and made a back pass to Ned from the half way line, and guess what - he never spotted the Dale player between him and Ned as he almost caught up with the ball.

The only real chance late in the half for Pools was a header by Jack from a free kick but he hit the keeper in the chest with the ball. It was all over bar the shouting by now and Dale did score another and still had two good chances before the end.

Call it what you like, Lack of quality, lack of a striker, lack of a holding midfield magician, someone said it was going to be a long season, to which I replied it has already been a long one and I do not hold out any hope for a jubilant fighting finish at the end of it if that is what it comes to. We are still a long way from fifty points.