As I Seen It - York (h)

RUNNING MONKEY on a derby win

POOLS 2  York City 0 League 2, at the VicSaturday January 25th 2014

The visit of our near neighbours today was reminiscent of the August game, when we stood on the terrace at York, nearly all of the Pools fans dressed in fifty pence bin bags sold by the York outlets, trying to stop the Pools fans suffering hypothermia, even though it was August. 

There was no covered stand at the away end and it pelted down all through the game and we never had a look in, coming away with nowt. Well at least this time we had the decency to furnish the visitors with overhead cover and the sun did shine some of the time.

I was like a fish out of water today as the Ditchburn was indisposed, something about a wedding. Who in their right mind would organize a wedding in the middle of the football season and even have the cheek to make it on a Saturday when Pools were at home. I bet the Ditchburn was spitting feathers by kick off time.

One great loss for the day was the absence of any input from the Ditchburn substitute on the referee today. This imposter spent his time signing autographs and having his photo taken by his adoring public. But on this season the substitute Ditchburn has a great record. Played five, drawn one, and won four. I did ask him what he was doing next week but he is booked for a gig at, of all places, York. So get well soon Mr. Original Ditchburn and don’t take it too badly that you missed probably two of the best goals this season, and the debut of two much-needed, very handy looking loan players to our ranks.

Almost a full away end at the Vic boosted the crowd to the 4600 mark but they were quiet apart from a spell in the second half when they got all excited, winning three corners in succession.

They started briskly and tested our resolve in the first minute when Ned had to punch a high ball clear. Luke had another great game but the tackling from the York defence was so bad at times we should have called “Child Line” They had done their homework and doubled up on him every time he got the ball, and one point in the second half he whipped past his markers and sped away, only to be trampled to the turf by a bloke twice his size while the other defender held on to him.

That lad must be black and blue on Sunday mornings after the treatment he gets. At least today there were some cards shown but not enough for the amount of fouls we had to endure. Without the Ditchburn Ref Rater, we had no idea on this bloke, or his two sixteen year old linesboys. One of whom ruled out a Pools goal, claiming Harewood was offside. Speaking of which, I know you should not make a judgment on a player after just sixty eight minutes, but not a lot different to the other big middle man we have just shifted out. Maybe a bit harsh to say that as he did win a few headers and had a couple of shots, but time will tell.

The Ditchburn also missed another treat today when ex-Loid Bowman went down injured and was taken off after less than half an hour. What he was doing in the side in front of his replacement, I have no idea; he must have been as old as me, well, nearly as old.
"Panic was setting in for the visitors, and the wrestlers came to the fore"
It was a scrappy first half; possibly it was windier than what we realized as both teams were missing passes and hoofing the ball out of play, but we were never really threatened other than a couple Ned punched away and a shot to the side netting.

One comment I must make is about the number of battle-weary and wounded soldiers that York had in their side. At every opportunity they writhed on the ground after some collision or tap, but it was so galling to see professional players pretend to be injured in a collision, to cover up when they knew they had fouled one of our players. Their physio spent more time on the pitch than some of their players.

As we turned around to kick down bank, one thought that crossed my mind was that we were too crowded in the middle. Players carrying the ball forward were looking for an outlet on the wing and there was no body there. One wag commented that he thought we were playing a "diamond".

Maybe it was a lack of preparation to accommodate Williams, the other loan player, who incidentally had a great game and really had some nice touches, liked to be on the ball and linked up with Luke and Walker throughout the game. He brought a good save out of the visiting keeper late in the half and could possibly have made the man-of-the-match spot, but I think the goal Luke scored just shaded Mr. Honour's decision.

The other signing Pools made this week, Jack Barmby, came on in place of Monky, and once again this kid looks good. A free kick Barmby won was headed on by Jack, and Luke skipped in and hit a tremendous low shot into the net, giving the keeper no chance.

Panic was setting in for the visitors, and the wrestlers came to the fore. There was one incident as Pools took a free kick on the edge of the box and five players, three from Pools and two from York ended in a heap inside the keeper's box.

It was a special goal that made the game safe for us. As Pools pressured York, young Barmby, making his league debut, capped a fine performance with an individual goal; after some nice footwork he made space for himself and hit a sweet shot past the keeper to make it two nil to the Hartlepool.

On the way to the ground I was listening to Cooper talking of the loan signings and apparently Manure have something like thirty talented kids like this sitting on their arrises waiting for one or ten of the foreign imports to be dropped. So they may not even get to make the bench. Between the ages of eighteen and twenty one they have to be superstars to be even noticed. Most of these kids will probably never experience league football, so their potential would be wasted. The loans they have with Pools are possibly only for one month but what a shame we cannot get these players on season-long loans to help us and help them develop.

Onwards and upwards