For It Is Written...

BILLY'S CONTRACT on that last match

I know it is going to happen and you know that it is going to happen, for it is written that both Pools' and Carlisle’s fates will depend on the result of the last game of the season.

Contemplate that, dear reader. It doesn’t bear thinking about. My blood pressure went up a couple points considering just such an eventuality.

Scenario number one: Both teams need a win to stay up.
How would the match be played out if that were the case?

In addition to a full house, I would imagine a lot of action / bookings / sendings-off / controversy / injuries / suicides - not to mention a very lively crowd baying for every foul and free kick and ...blood.

Goodness knows what the match / atmosphere would be like with less than ten minutes to go, if both teams were level pegging. I would suggest, if this were indeed the case, that Carlisle United should have their defibrillators (not a sex toy) fully charged up, and plenty of ambulances on standby for those with weak hearts, and smelling salts for the ladies.

Prior to the kick off Carlisle would introduce Jimmy Glass to the home fans in order to whip them into a frenzy.

Not to be outdone, Pools would have brought their own talisman with Willie Waddell being unveiled to the Poolie faithful, resulting in the noise level in the away end going up several decibels as they sang "We’ve got Willie Willie Willie Waddell on the wing, on the wing". Most of the current Pools players would wonder who this Willie Waddell feller was that they were singing about, and why their own names were never chanted with the same passion (answer on a post card please, addressed to: Matthew Bates, Stewart Parnaby, Marlon Harewood and the lad called Walker, whose first name escapes me for the minute.)"Both teams refusing to cross the half way line. Not a shot on goal for the full ninety minutes. No bookings and plenty of gentlemanly conduct from both sets of players and supporters"

Scenario number two: Both teams need a draw of any sort to stay up.
Now this would be interesting. Both teams refusing to cross the half way line. Not a shot on goal for the full ninety minutes. No bookings and plenty of gentlemanly conduct from both sets of players and supporters, all very Corinthian. The betting fraternity amongst them will have put this game down on their betting slips as a banker for a goalless draw.

There would be no need to separate the two sets of supporters, and no police presence would be required.

Preparation for this match would involve Carlisle having watched a video of the Austria v West Germany game, where both teams required a draw to qualify for the next stage in the World Cup. Which indeed they did.

No doubt Ronnie Moore would have dug out the video tape of Swindon Town v Pools in which both teams required a draw to make the play offs. Which indeed they also did.

The game would be played at such a slow pace, and each team would be playing for snookers. Deliberate time wasting would reach new levels. If a penalty was awarded to either team it would be blasted over the bar, or wide. If it was Pools who missed the spot kick and other teams above them later complained, The Football League would not even bother to investigate the incident due to:

* Pools' inability to get players into the box to be awarded a penalty in the first place.

* Pools' recent penalty record.

As for both sets of supporters, I would suggest that they bring a book along, or listen to music on their Sony Walkmans (or whatever the current device is), or meditate whilst doing their yoga exercises in the peace and tranquility of Brunton Park.

If the weather forecast is good, I am going to bring along a picnic and some Vino de Collaspso (which is probably why I can’t recall Walker's first name, as I have just partaken of a bottle of red could be said that I drink to forget!)

My worst-case scenario would be a Carlisle victory, with Sweeney, Wyke and the recalled Matty Robson doing the damage.

My best-case scenario would be a last-minute Pools winner scored by the on-loan Ritchie Humphreys that would give some of our fans something to talk about.

Dressed to Thrill
The football world with some eagerness now looks forward to see what sort of fancy dress will adorn Pools fans for the last away match of the season. It is brilliant how, from small beginnings, it has taken off worldwide, bringing many compliments for the Club, the Town and of course the supporters themselves.

I do feel however that the whole event could be more impressive if, instead of a hundred or so fans dressing up, the organisers let it be known to the wider fan base what the theme would be on the day, so more supporters could, and would get involved.

Wouldn’t it be craic, should the team still be within a shout of avoiding relegation at Carlisle, if 5/600 Poolies turned up dressed as Dad’s Army / The Grim Reaper / Boris Johnson or whatever, and take the whole fancy dress thing to a different level. Not only that, I am sure it would also act as a morale booster to the team as well.

Who will you vote for in May?
At the AFC Wimbledon game I was asking my mates in the Town End who, if anyone, they would cast their vote for, if the Club had the audacity to have a Player-of-the-Year vote at the end of the season. All three of us agreed that Scott Harrison and Michael Woods are the only two contenders, with Woods getting the nod from all of us. Twenty minutes later the poor lad is carried off with what looks at the time of writing to be a double fracture. He may have only played half the season, and is out for the rest of it, but he would still get my vote.

Something else which will be getting my vote is the planned formation of a Hartlepool United Supporters Trust.

I was very surprised at the number of fans who turned up for their first meeting, at the Corner Flag, after the Wimbledon game. I would guess that in excess of one hundred people were in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to let the fans know what a supporters' trust is, its purpose, and what it entails, and to find out if it was something that Hartlepool fans would be interested in forming, or being involved with. The view from the floor was that it was, and the proposers will now look at the next stage.

Only two things spoiled the meeting for me. I was sat at the back, where a number of people were having their own meeting, and then complained that they could not hear the speakers, and then started talking amongst themselves so that the rest of us could not hear the speakers, and only only their own banal conversation instead, rather than addressing it through the chair.

Another chap, through the chair, complained that the Corner Flag was too small a venue for such a meeting (I think the organisers only expected 20/30 people to turn up for the initial meeting), and then spent the next 5 minutes making a case for why they should have the next meeting in a particular Working Men’s club. It transpired that the individual in question is a committee man and was obviously looking to drum up business for his particular club.

That aside, the people who are wanting to form a trust are passionate Hartlepool supporters, and I am sure that with the right backing and right people involved, and with or without IOR’s support, I can see a Hartlepool United Supporters' Trust being in situ in the very near future.