As I Seen It - Pompey (h)

RUNNING MONKEY sees a good point earned 

Pools 0 Portsmouth 0  
League Two, 
Victoria Park, 
27th September, 2014

As usual there were rumours flying all over the Vic before the game today against The Peoples republic of? I guess it was Pompey or even Portsmouth but I couldn't see the bottom of the flag hanging in the Rink End. 

Another rumour, untrue, was that the Mail was once again banned from the Vic over an article asking in Darlo parlance "Where has all the money gone?” An obvious reference to the transfer loot coined in recently by the club. A topic for discussion was the statement by the manager that he has money to spend. The cynic would say "Money to spend when the transfer window is closed?" Will he still have money to spend in January?

Some of the even more cynical would say "Would you trust the incumbent with any money to spend?" He has up to now had a tendency to spend it on old friends. To be fair to the owners, whoever they are these days, as a seasoned Poolie at half time mentioned, the players brought in still have to be paid and still sometimes command a signing on fee, so the critics of the owners need to take heed. Rather than condemn, yes we could change the manager tomorrow but to lose the owners would be a different matter. Would fans really like to see the owners pack their bags? I think not, so be careful, as you might just get what you wish for.

Another rumour was that a winger who is a target for the club had moved into the transfer suite at the Staincliffe. After checking this through a reliable Southern contact it turns out it was none other than ex-Poolie Paul Staff. I discovered that another Poolie legend was also ensconced in the Staincliffe with a bird, This was the MB muso legend that I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at the Vic with was none other than “Mr. Alan Essex”, A change from my usual company of the Ditchburn Poolie, who had ditched his lucky charm cousin Keith and kitted himself out with a swordstick. Dirty Dick comes to mind. The Ditchburn was claiming an injured ankle but my guess was he had had his collar felt by the DHSS and was covering all bases for his claim.

The Ditchburn gave us his usual s.p. on the official today and informed us he was rubbish, had a life long hatred of Pools fans and was the man who had sent off Flinders on his last visit, ten minutes into the game, so a real nasty piece of work. It turned out the ref was a perfect gent and handled the game very well.

Another rumour, seems like they were never-ending, was that there was to be a 1908 protest. The plan was that when the scoreboard clock moved on to 19:08 there would be a mass walk-out and the fans would congregate behind the stands. Sorry but it looked more like a early trip to the bogs, I suppose it was a safer bet than throwing tennis balls onto the pitch during the game which would have brought trouble to the club.

So finally on to the game itself. It looks as if most fans were expecting a roasting from the visitors and the early moves in the game suggested just that. They were a slick outfit - very fast on the break and attacked in numbers creating chances with some excellent football. They had one thing in common with the home side; they couldn't shoot for toffee. We could have been three down at half time and not complained as they were all over us. I suppose to a northern lad like me you would expect some southern softies to have GOBSHITE emblazoned across their chest but it was only when I put my specs on the right way up it was all clear and the word was “JOBSITE." Another loss of the toss meant again we were going to kick up the bank the second half."They had one thing in common with the home side; they couldn't shoot for toffee."

The visitors certainly looked a class side, I looked at the clock and it was about eight minutes before we even got a kick of the ball. That was a shot over by super Tom. Master Bates made a great tackle in our box to thwart the onslaught. Some good play between Brobbel and Wyke looked promising but we were always stalled in our progress by some good defensive work on the edge of their box. We were soon put on the back foot by some very good football and Ned made some great saves to keep us in the game when we were under a lot of pressure.

The Ditchburn grudgingly conceded that despite the lump on his head this lad Brobbel is a good player. This was a reference to the haircut the lad has, it makes him look like a samurai warrior with a topknot. You have to excuse the Ditchburn who sports a Beatle hair cut, which he claims is all the rage in his neck of the woods.

Just about the time of the 1908 protest the ref did produce a card when Compton was wrestled to the ground after skinning the full back. Pools were starting to play a bit despite the continuing pressure, possibly realising the opposition could not find their target. It was good to see some excellent stuff from Pools. Walker hit a low shot just wide and a great run down the Mill House side by Brobbel was spoiled by a poor shot.

Despite being under pressure for a lot of the time we held our ground and looked to be coming back into the game as half-time approached. Both Wyke and Brobbel had shots blocked in the same attack just before the whistle.

Pools had to be better in the second half and they looked like they meant business, spirits obviously lifted by the poor finishing of the visitors but they always looked more likely to score.

Flinders certainly saved the day when he blocked a close in effort from Portsmouth. Wyke latched onto a Walker cross but could only head wide. Pools looked the more likely to score in the dying minutes as they piled on the pressure as the visitors tired. No wonder, because they had run at us continuously for most of the game.

A good defensive display with no obvious calamities but again we lack the killer touch. At one point our striker Wyke was making a last-gasp tackle in our own box as we were pushed back by a slick Portsmouth side.

A good point at the end of the day.