Cheltenham (h) As I Seen It

Pools 0, Cheltenham Town 1   

League 2  Saturday March 29th 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic

The Ditchburn's observations on the officials today were banjaxed by a switch in personnel. His only comment was that he would dish out yellows and send off a Poolie.

To be honest he was a lot better than we have had of late and apart from one or two decisions I thought he was pretty even. He allowed us to kick up bank the first half so with little wind that was a fair advantage.

Chelts came at us early on and Sam was called into action to clear a dangerous ball. Pools did get at them and they looked suspect at the back with a few sliced or hurried clearances. Both Barmby and Walker tried their luck with the latter, bringing a save from the keeper.

A little aggro came from the Town End as a Chelts attacker took exception to the ridicule heaped on him as he went down in the box, presumably pole-axed by one of the circling seagulls brought in by the fog on the coast. Someone should tell him if you react to the Town End taunts you may as well go home unless you can score goals and shut them up.

Pools were playing good stuff but only in patches. Luke and Duckworth were making good progress in a pretty even game. Duckworth raced down the line and cut in, beating three or four players before the ball was dead. Sadly there was no constant threat on the visitors, whose confidence was growing, and by the thirty minute mark we were struggling against a capable side.

One neat move by them saw a flick over our defensive line and Ned had to be up to the mark as he charged and grounded one of their attackers, sending an early ball out to Holden who raced on and set up Barmby, who shot wide.

This game had to get better than this in the second half, and Pools had to up their game as the visitors shaded the first half. Ever-optimistic Pools fans thought we should beat these no-hopers, but the second half was just the opposite, as the visitors took command of the game. They were the ones who stepped up their game. How many times has this happened to us at home? Due to either lack of conviction or poor play we let teams off the hook and they come out for the second half full of confidence and take the game to us.
"The highlight of the game was a little juggling act by Sam who either through skill or good luck managed to juggle a ball off each eyebrow onto his nose then spin it round the top of his head and clear the ball"
The visitors came close when a shot hit the post and Sam scrambled it away as they piled the pressure on Pools and our passes became hurried and wayward, just adding even more pressure on the home side.

Holden, who was one of the pluses in the side today, made a great run into the box, charging through two players, but the angle was difficult and his shot was blocked. It bounced out to the incoming Luke who struggled to get a clean hit on the ball and it skimmed over the bar. Poole came on for Barmby and we did liven up a little and started to push them back a little.

Compton should have scored at the far post after some good work by Franks who made room for himself and sent a ball across the goal to the back post but Compton could only send his header wide of the post. Compton was back again in the next attack, picking up a ball chipped in he set up Franks this time but his shot was blocked.

Shortly after this the visitors took the lead. A high ball caught out Holden who lost his man and the ball was scrambled over the line. It was one of those games where either side could have nicked it and there would be no complaints, as neither had done enough to justify the three points, but is that not our luck?

The highlight of the game was a little juggling act by Sam who either through skill or good luck managed to juggle a ball off each eyebrow onto his nose then spin it round the top of his head and clear the ball.

A desperate ten minutes at the end saw Pools put in a more concerted effort to get an equalizer but efforts from Poole, Luke and the sub Hawkins all failed to grab a point from the game.