POOLS 1 - SHEFFIELD UTD 2   Johnstone's Paint Trophy  Tuesday 7th October 2014

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at The Vic


Arrogance or over confidence of the Young Man Clough, to name his side the day before a big game against Pools? 

My guess is he was resting his star players. As were Pools' new management combo of Collins and Kavanagh, The latter supposedly brought in to help Sam along, but not a contender for the post as it will be an outsider. Brian Laws seems to be the leading contender in the eyes of the fans I spoke to today. 

Another Pools man allegedly heading for L•••s is the Pools chief exec if you believe the gospel of the Town End Terrace grapevine. 

Flinders was given the armband tonight which meant no Master Bates, Parnaby, Holden, Walker or Harewood, all discarded for some fresh faces: Woods. Hawkins, Green and Jones, all who made a start in this game. A vociferous following for the Blades was raising the atmosphere for the game, which was needed to compensate for the low crowd. 

One blot on the landscape was the official, Mr. Boyeson, who rather plays at being the strong referee than being just a referee. As the Ditchburn Poolie said, he is either bad or bad, and today he was both. To be fair to the arrogant **** he did give us the benefit of a decision on an early fifty-fifty tackle, but that was the only one he gave us. Both the Ditchburn and I decided it was a personal thing he had towards the pair of us. 

Ned made a couple of early saves as the slick Sheffield side came at us playing some good football. Woods managed win a header in their box but only succeeded in landing the ball on top of the net. It was an end-to-end game with both teams having no luck in front of goal, but the Blades were getting more of the ball and closer with the shots. 

The Ditchburn was still counting the minutes since he had last seen a Pools goal and as he had missed the Shrews win it had been five games and twenty-three minutes. The consensus was he should go on an extended holiday as soon as possible. 
"after Saturday's dismal display this was a great performance from the team."
Wyke and Brobbel, although being the better performers on Saturday were even far better tonight, as was this Pools team. Sam Collins' selection looked a more balanced team. We made more chances in the first half than in all of the last four games and it was good to watch. Brobbel hit one from distance that the keeper blocked and he was there to pick up the clearance ball from the half way line and made a great run down the Millhouse side, cut into the box and forced a corner from the keeper. 

Sheffield made a break and scored a well-taken goal as Pools backed off and no-one got a real tackle in. Their tails were up now and they came at us again, this time Ned making a great save, diving bravely at the attacker's feet to smother the ball. Both Brobbel and Wyke went close before the break as Pools settled again. 

The Ditchburn was muttering something about four and a half games as he trudged off to the ladies again. Second half, kicking down bank, Pools looked as if their half-time drink had been Lucozade or even Tizer, as we set about the visitors. On five games and forty-nine minutes the Ditchburn was stunned into glorious silence as a rampant Duckworth hit a twenty-five yard shot that was deflected past the keeper. What a celebration for his first goal. A cartwheel and a somersault were good to see - it meant so much to the lad. 

In his next attack from the same position the roar of SHOOT SHOOOT SHOOOOT went up and he fluffed his shot. That sent cries of derision from the fans and the usual blaspheming remarks at the miss. Sheffield came at us with a vengeance and piled on the pressure, which only abated when Ned was fouled on his line during an attack. They blitzed our goal as they went for a winner and Pools made three blocks on the line in as many seconds. 

Ned made a great catch under pressure to dull the edge of the Blades play. This was followed by a good spell from Pools, attacking on both flanks and setting a little doubt in the minds of the visitors. Some of their tackles were getting a bit naughty too. Wyke was immense up front, holding the ball or laying it off for Brobbel, Duckworth or Hawkins, who made his debut really count with some great attacking play. 

Some of the through balls from Duckworth and Miller were causing the Blades a lot of problems. Hawkins on a run down the Millhouse side skinned two defenders and jinked into the box forcing another corner from the keeper. Flinders had to tip two over the top of the bar in succession as the opposition came alive again, and it was just the luck of the bounce that gave Ryce his chance to put the Blades ahead and run out two-one winners on the night. 

There was no disgrace in this defeat as the whole side contributed to the game, and after Saturday's dismal display this was a great performance from the team.