As I Seen It - Scunthorpe (h)

RUNNING MONKEY sees the start of life after Baldwin

Pools 0, Scunthorpe 0   League 2  Saturday February 1st 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic

I was running late today and as I walked from the car park I could hear the chant “He is back, he is, the Ditcburn is back”. Sure enough the happy smiling rejuvenated Ditchburn Poolie was back where he belongs on a Saturday, in The Town End at the Vic.

He did explain that his forced absence from the win against York to attend a family wedding was very stressful but tempered by a text he received soon after the game which said “We were s@(^* but we won 2-0."

With all the pre match talk of Baldwin going to Peterborough for a handsome fee of anything between £250,000 to £750,000 with a sell on, of course the talk turned to what we spend it on.

Where do these people get the idea that this windfall would be spent? The consensus was that we may get the pitch re-laid for next season or there would be quail's eggs on the menu at the food outlet. The truth is even stranger than that, as I have it on good authority that this transfer shock was good business on Pools' part for what the Posh manager, whose name slips my mind at the minute, described as the best young player in the Football League. As we are now a feeder club for Muddlesborough, we were persuaded to let Jack go on the strength that Muddlesborough could buy the Posh striker and they would fill our team with promising young potential stars of the future. Well it sounded plausible to me when I read it on the netty wall.

The Ditchburn was unusually coy about the ref today who he insisted in calling by his first name, Jeremy. Apparently referee Jeremy Simpson is a popular boy in the Ditchburn circle of friends, along with Quinten, Chervaise and Bob. What a gay day.

The Ditchburn was excited by the fact it was his second visit to the Vic and last time he sent off Howard, so he can’t be all bad.

We won the toss so that was a good start, apart from the hurricane wind blowing over the Town End that was going to make it a fun day. As the Ditchburn commented, the new look line up for Pools was full of youth and vigour.

" it was his second visit to the Vic and last time he sent off Howard, so he can’t be all bad."
The first attack from the visitors made Ned look decidedly dodgy as he came, he went and then ducked out of a leap for the ball that he should have claimed easily from the dangerous McSheffrey but fortunately the ball was cleared by Walker. Pools were straight back at them as Williams danced his way past what looked like a very old Iron defence, some of which made Sam look like a boy.

McSheffrey was back again beating Ned with a good shot but the bar saved Pools this time. Pools had the edge from the off with some fast one touch football, both Monky hitting the keeper with a shot, and Williams again on a run, tested the keeper with a long range effort that the keeper palmed away.

The Poolie youth were having a field day against the visitors, Luke James again getting special attention, but this left Williams, Barmby, Monky and young Walker with a bit more space and they were causing Scunthorpe lots of problems.
 The Ditchburn friend Jeremy blotted his copy book: booking number 67 this season went to Barmby as McSheffrey hit a quick free kick into the back of him as he walked away from the placed ball. It was farcical and even the Ditchburn was embarrassed by his “friend's’’ error.

Pools had two shots blocked on the line following a corner. The Scunthorpe centre half tried a rugby tackle on Walker, as he broke free and outpaced his man but Walker hit his shot over the bar. Ned made a great leap and caught a ball high in the air that could have quite easily dropped into the net as Scunthorpe tried to get something out of a half that they had been played off the park in, and a great rebound ball back in by Walker sailed just past the far post after a Holden free kick was blocked just before the break.

Pools started the second half in the same fashion taking the game to Scunthorpe. Holden took a kick on the ankle early in the half but the lad was determined not to go off and after limping for some time soon got back to his best, and had a great game overall.

The Poolie Youth were really testing the visitors and making chances but the luck was with the visitors after shot after shot was either blocked or went wide from the Pools attack.

Aussie took one for the team which laid him out as the number four lined up for a shot. The number four was taken off later but the opinion was he was their best player along with McSheffrey. Attacking the Town End the lads were showing some great touches around the box Williams and James, Barmby and Walker all showing great talent and effort for the cause.

Sam Collins had a good game as Pools came under just a little pressure as Scunthorpe rallied half way through the half but the defence held their ground. Sweeney substituted for Austin who had taken a knock, (in fact Sweeney came on twice having been waved on then sent off by the ref until the fourth official produced his board, this putting another black mark down to the Ditchburn's friend.) Then Harewood and Compton, on for Monky and Barmby, gave us a bit of a lift. Harewood in particular showing quick feet in the box to side step a tackle hit a blaster just wide of the post. He raged at the Town End to make some noise as they went for the kill. Good to see such passion from the striker.

Pools could have nicked it just on time as a Compton cross to the far post just evaded the efforts of James and Harewood who raced in on the keeper who missed the ball and it went wide.

Once again the lack of an early goal probably robbed us of what could have been a great victory against a side second in the table who looked decidedly second best to Pools today. Some great individual performances, especially from man-of-the-match Williams, who showed great skills, Barmby, again showing some lovely play on the ball, and Walker, who for such a young lad was superb and could have got the man-of-the-match accolade as could James for his non-stop running at the opposition. A nil nil draw, but a very good performance, which sent the faithful home very happy indeed.