POOLS 2 - SHREWSBURY 0   League 2,  Saturday, 6th September 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic


On the way into the Vic I was given the latest rumour, which was shocking. Administration. 

The bearer of this shocking news, who shall remain nameless, is usually of sound mind, but as you know, Mr Central Park, I just report the facts. Apparently this rumour had been all the rage on a Pools message board. Says it all really - a couple of bad results and the natives go ape on their keyboards. According to that same message board we have sold Luke for one and half million, so how is it possible we are skint? Looking at it logically, the bearer of this bad news had apparently forgotten the golden rule: never believe anything you read unless you have written it yourself, and even then check it out first. That is why I say we are "allegedly" hoping to sign a Toon player who scored two against our reserves last week.

With the loss of Luke James and the poor form we have been in, I decided against taking my boots to the game today as I felt a twinge in one of the few remaining muscles I have left.

On the way to the ground I heard that feller off the wireless, err whatsisname, him with the brown sparrow legs, I know this fact as I saw him in WW2 khaki shorts at the Whitby Town game. Ivor Rash or something like that. Anyway he was waffling about the opposition for Pools today. Ivor was extolling the virtues of the shrewd Shrewsbury board who had had a total clear out, manager and players, and spent a lot of money in the hope of bouncing straight back. A new manager, in Mickey Mellon, who brought in fifteen new players.

It has to be said some of his players looked quality, in particular the ginger no 4, Woods, who ran the show. While some of them really looked the part there was a chink in their armour, at least after a tackle with Wyke they had to swap their full back, and one of the biggest players you have seen at the Vic came on and he was pants.

As the Ditchburn Poolie was attending a family gathering he did not let me down with the SP on Mr Jeremy Simpson the ref for today. Card-happy, and how right he was; couldn't get much else right all day and between him and his co-conspirators, managed to be pretty useless when it came to the rules of the game.

With the Ditchburn absent I had to get Mick Bell to tell me what was going on at the other end of the pitch. Glasses left at home again, not that it makes any difference to my reports, I hear the Ditchburn cry. Who, incidentally lost his nerve and went for the draw in his prediction today. Mick was unusually in collar and tie and a suit that was too tight. I asked if he had been to court but he said no a family wedding. As you can tell, Mr Bell cares more about our team than the Ditchburn ever did.

The game itself started well enough as we won the toss and kicked up the bank for the first half. We looked comfortable on the ball apart from an early blip for Parnaby, playing full back, on the edge of our box scooped a clearance up and over his head but managed to get a toe onto it before any damage was done. Wyke was very busy and it is nice to see a Pools player dish out some stick for a change. "A GOAL AT HOME,  A GOAL AT HOME", was the shout from Mick as an early goal came after Compton showed great effort to lay the ball off for Wyke to stroke a low shot past the keeper.

Brobbel mis-hit almost on the line after connecting with a Franks cross. Shrews, who had been unbeaten in the league, were possibly a little over confident against this Pools side who looked like a team for the first time this season, and looked to be panicking a little under the Pools pressure. Brobbel was having a field day against his marker and it was a shame that his efforts were not always matched by his team mates. On a number of runs to the line he crossed and the box was empty of attacking players."Pools possibly played their best home game in a long time and thoroughly deserved the three points"

Aussie had a good game and was often the last man at the back tidying up. Shrews did manage a free header that sailed over the bar, but Shrews midfield always looked dangerous going forward. Shrews were making progress down our right side as Parnaby at times looked jaded or lazy and drifted into the middle leaving the flank open. Ned made a couple of good saves as Shrews came into the game a bit more near the end of the half. Parnaby was out of sorts and after stretching out for a tackle looked to go off with a hamstring injury.

Ned was in action again as he pushed one shot away then the big forward Vernon tried to lob him from inside his box but he was alert to it. After the break once again Brobbel made a great run into the box and should have had a penalty after being floored but the man in black saw nothing. Compton made another great run down the line and hit a great cross but both Wyke and Brobbel were inches short of connecting with the ball.

The big number two was now pushed out wide and even managed to dummy himself as he went down the line giving the ball to Compton who again managed to get his cross in but the ball was cleared. There seemed to be a bit of a tete a tete at the Rink end that the ref took a couple of chances to sort out before booking Harrison. Compton was the instigator of Pools' second goal as he robbed his marker and hit a low ball across the box that Walker connected with, and as he raced in, lifted the ball over the on-coming keeper.

Ned was hit with a hard-driven ball close in that rattled him a little but he managed to make the save. Late in the game the man in black once again bottled it as Brobbel was brought down in front of the Town End on the penalty spot, and with him being twenty five yards behind the play did nothing and he was in line with the tackle, but obviously short sighted.

Two nil it was and at the end you cannot argue with the facts. Pools possibly played their best home game in a long time and thoroughly deserved the three points against a dangerous side. Shrews made us work hard for this victory, which makes it all the sweeter. This was probably the best set up team Cooper has put out, whether it was by good luck or good management only time will tell. Today as I said earlier we looked like a team. No more square pegs in round holes as the proof was there today.

Some good individual performances today. Walker, and Wyke both scoring, and Franks, Man of the Mach. After the game I spoke to a couple of Shrews fans who both had differing expectations, One had been before when Shrews had won 3-0, and expected to get beat. The other fan had not been before and on current form expected a win. I of course always expect a win.