NEWPORT - As I Seen It


Pools 3 - Newport County 0   League 2 Saturday 15 February 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic


There was an early warning before today’s game about the official, from The Ditchburn Guide, the comprehensive tome of football officials that have plied their so-called trade on the lush Victoria Park turf. Mr. Kettle, today’s official, comes very low down in the standings according to Professor Ditchburn.

I am usually unaware of the official before the game but a recently retired person like the Ditchburn has time on his hands to while away. Apart from the obvious jokes about Kettle and boiling point he had little to say about the man before the game. Well at least till half time.

The visitors looked a handy side and both teams had chances early on but it was Burgess who side stepped his marker and hit a forty yarder that skimmed the bar. Through some really incompetent - nay, horrendous decisions by Mr Kettle the game was becoming a farce -throughout the half we were batted and trampled by some very vigorous man-handling from the opposition.

It was sad to see in a way as they looked like a good side but were let down by their physical game in which they brought out all the dirty tricks of the trade which Mr. Kettle totally ignored. Officials like today’s give football at our level a bad name. Pools were given no favours and we had to be on our mettle to stop the visitors gaining the advantage that was given to them on a plate.

A great cheer went up half way through the half when the linesman on the Millhouse side remembered he had a flag and waved it in favour of the home side. There was a long spell in the first half when we tended to give the ball up too easily under pressure. They had a couple of handy players who were running the game and we had to be resolute in defence and the veteran Sam Collins made a great block on the line to stop a certain goal.

Walton had one of his better games and it was his efforts that brought about the first goal. Chasing a lost cause out to the corner flag he checked back and played a low fast ball into the box where Luke James made a superb turn and hit his shot past the visiting keeper to give Pools a much-deserved lead in the game to take into the half time break.

The talk at half time was whether we could see off Newport despite them looking a threat at times. I must say I spotted a crack in the amour of our striker today, which was worrying. Marlon did not look like he was happy and never settled throughout the game and talked himself into the book. He was lucky not to have been sent off or even pulled off for his own good. Some of the tackles looked mis-timed or over the top and if you can’t keep your mouth shut, and your anger is directed towards the kettle then you are in hot water.
"A great cheer went up half way through the half when the linesman on the Millhouse side remembered he had a flag and waved it in favour of the home side"
The Ditchburn was so confident in his prediction that Pools would never score three today after I had told him my prediction was once again 3-1 to the Hartlepool, he made a promise. Something along the lines that if Pools managed three in this game he would come to the next game in multi-coloured harlequin chef's trousers and I could take a pic. Now I was never bothered before about the Ditchburn habits but by next week I could find myself standing in the Millhouse once again. I honestly think he has bought these pants in the past and has been looking for an excuse to wear them in public. Watch this space.

The second half with Pools kicking down bank was a repeat of the first. Pools looked to be easing back and then a corner from Walton hit two defenders and went into the Newport net with their defender taking the blame and Walton taking the credit from his team-mates.

Pools had their tails up now and were playing some great football. Holden, who is really benefitting from a run in the side, linked well with Monky down the left, playing a one-two which brought them into the box, but the move broke down with a poor shot on goal.

Mr. Kettle once again blotted his copybook when he booked a Newport player. It was obvious that he was apologizing for the card before he booked the man. I know we all say that the officials have a bad name but this feller takes the biscuit when you have seen him in action.

The game was well and truly in the bag as Williams, who again showed some real class, hit the third goal. After swapping passes with Monky he ran across the box and hit a great shot past the keeper, sending most fans home very happy, while the Ditchburn was shouting for Newport to keep the score down to two.

A great three points and a great performance from the lads. Monky needs a special mention as he was up and down the field all day today. Also Luke James with a sterling effort against some harsh treatment gave another man-of-the-match performance.

As an aside, before the game Cooper was on the wireless talking about how Marlon takes the heat out of the way of Luke. Well I have to disagree with him on that as Luke is still getting battered as the opposition do their homework and see Luke as a bigger threat than Marlon.