As I Seen It - Newport Co (h)

RUNNING MONKEY sees Pools fight back

Pools 2   Newport County 2
League Two, 
Victoria Park, 
1st November, 2014

The Ditchburn Poolie and I agreed to be on our best behaviour today as the Bizz CEO was making an appearance. The Ditchburn was true to his word having recently returned from a foreign holiday, looking tanned and spick and span for the occasion - well at least today he had his trousers on which was a good start. 

Once again the opposition won the toss and had us kicking down bank in the first half. This is a pet hate of mine as it takes away the advantage gained by kicking down bank second half when we have run the opponents ragged. No place for Master Bates again in the starting line up which included another new boy, Featherstone from Harrogate. Just maybe we are looking at the Conference next season. To be fair the lad did ok for his first game at the club. 

Franks set off like a train and after a great run tested their keeper with a stinging shot the keeper pushed away for a corner. Newport came straight back at us and Ned was equal to the Newport striker's powerful shot. This looked like it could be a good game, and with the rumour being that they had nine men out, I was looking for a cricket score. 

Discussing Franks even being in the starting line up we came to the conclusion that Muzzer had promised him a rocket for bonfire night, but weren't sure where he was going to place it if he let the manager down. As I have said before Charlie Wyke looks a different player this time round and was back deep looking for the ball and helping defend and racing into the box causing them problems, coming close with a header from another decent Franks cross. You cannot fault the lad, who genuinely leaves everything on the pitch. 

Franks must have taken heed of the rocket threat as he was making good crosses and shooting on sight when he had the opportunity. Marlon on the other hand looked about as dangerous as a lollipop lady with a feather duster. Franks who was having a good game sadly made one bloody awful howler when he, without looking, hit a back pass to the midfield area that was snapped up by Newport player, who had an open run on goal and it was one nil to the visitors. 

The CEO commented that we went one nil down at Cambridge and came back, then he remembered that Cambridge scored again. Although it had been an even game we can only blame ourselves for the situation, as some of our passing was woeful today. What has been obvious this season is that we are unable to exert any real pressure on teams and invariably lose momentum at the crucial time. This sets off some of the fans barracking players, which can only put more pressure on them, but it has to be said we are careless at times, which is disappointing. 

We did thankfully lift our game a bit in the second half but once again like Cambridge they scored another goal. Two gifted goals in one game are bad to see; not only are heads dropping but also the opposition take every advantage and start pressing for more. The second goal was a miss-kick from Sam who was playing really well and has done since his return, even today winning the Man-of-the- Match award. The scorer took great delight in taunting the Town End fans, which was not good to see. If someone had abused him this black player would probably be the first in with a complaint to the Football League. Two nil it was and Muzzer was looking down the barrel of a gun having lost out last week and mumbles of Murray out could be heard around the terrace. "Two gifted goals in one game are bad to see; not only are heads dropping but also the opposition take every advantage"

Another new signing Sidney Schmeltz joined the fray and this lad looks good, and an early shot from him made the Newport team think twice about sticking it to Pools, and started to hoof the ball over the stand out of play any way they could, as Pools started to pressure them a little. This panic in the Newport defence boiled over as in a Pools attack Harrison, who had a really good game today, went for a ball the keeper fumbled and all hell broke loose as the Newport team piled in and the Pools lads went to the defence of Harrison. The result of this little fracas was that one of their players got his marching orders having collected a second yellow, while Harrison was booked for the initial foul. 

Pools just had to take advantage of this sending off and found a lot more room. Duckworth laid a ball off for Harewood but he was too slow to react and it was cleared. Walker who had not had the best of games came up with a cracker from nowhere when he hit a ball into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. Two one and Pools were now in the hunt. Duckworth picked up a ball out wide and making one of his jinking runs found himself free in the box and hit a screamer past the Newport keeper giving Pools at least a point and a great lift in a game where they had been down and out. 

A never-say-die attitude was back as Pools went for them in the dying stages. Newport, under a lot of pressure, just hoofed it clear time and again getting all men behind the ball. Two all was probably a fair result on the day, but if there were any scouts here from next week’s opposition I hope they take back the message that Pools’ teams "Never say Die."