Accrington (h) As I Seen It

RUNNING MONKEY sees a late point rescued

Pools 1 Accrington Stanley 1
League 2
Victoria Park
15th April 2015

Accrington came to the Vic to play football, and for most of the game they did that far better than we did.

Pools looked a very nervy side going into what was in our eyes and must have been in those of the players, one of the biggest games of the season, when you consider what is at stake.

All the old failings flooded back as the visitors set about the game with some slick football, whereas we missed passes, hoofed the ball away to watch it come back, and some criminal defending put us under a lot of early pressure.

The visitors ran rings round us, through us and over us. This was not the performance we expected in such a crucial game. The rallying call from Mr. Moore before the game was "go out and shoot on sight". Sadly it was the opposition that took up the challenge and we never got a look in for the first half. I can only remember one wild shot over the bar in the whole of the first half from Pools as we back pedalled.

According to the knowledgeable fans around me our system of five at the back was not working as we were being overrun in the middle of the park. To my mind we were being battered and the submission was not long off. A couple of Pools defenders went for the same ball and it dropped for the Accrington man who I later found out to be Windass, son of Windass, and he hit a screamer across the goal and into the top corner, giving Ned no chance at all.

They deserved the goal for the amount of pressure they inflicted on us. I honestly thought this was going to be a rout the way we were playing. Tishi again was having a poor game for a lad that had looked so secure on the ball, but knowledgeable heads again informed me he was carrying an injury.

Featherstone once again was the driving force for Pools but he was too deep to affect the game. We were desperate for the half to end to try and get some order in our game.

At the break the ref, a former public schoolboy named Jeremy, as the Ditchburn Poolie informed me, was coming in for a bit of stick, which I agree he deserved. Booking eight players throughout the game let's just say he was a little officious. Harrison did not help things when, after leaving the field following injury, he was standing on the line waiting to come back, and a ball dropped close to him. So like a defender does, he went for the ball. Sadly, the ref had not yet called him back into action, so he was booked.

Ronnie Moore had brought on Fenwick and Jones (the lad from the Borer) for Hawkins and Duckworth, who I think still ducks a few challenges. Fenwick was needed as he gives his all, but the Borer lad, despite being a good player going forward, is possibly a bit lightweight and once he turns infield more often than not is robbed of the ball. When he gets his run in down the line he can make a great cross, and there was an early sign of this in the first minute when Hugill raced in but his shot was over the bar. The energy Fenwick and Jones brought transformed the team as we went for them.

"The visitors ran rings round us, through us and over us. This was not the performance we expected in such a crucial game. "

Fenwick, in a chase with a defender for what was really a lost ball, clashed with the defender on the dead ball line and the lad took a kick at him. Jeremy stepped in and as they walked back the lad had another go at Fenwick, which set a few players shaping up to each other. My guess was Fenwick was just letting him know he was around and the lad was in for an uncomfortable second half. Mirfin, who has been outstanding of late seems to have been struck with the same malaise as some of our team, not so sure-footed in defence. He did get onto a cross in the box but looped his header over and it dropped for a defender and was cleared.

Ned made a good one-handed save as the visitors broke again and Harrison cleared one off the line as it looked like they had weathered the Pools storm.

Marlon is popular with some sections of the crowd but in our little clique eyebrows were raised as he replaced Franks, and his first contribution was a hand ball in their box. For his second he attempted, after picking the ball up, to launch it down the line for a throw in to be taken but he hit the Millhouse Terrace. His third contribution was a superb header past the keeper after a wonderful cross from the Borer boy Jones.

One all, and on the second half display we deserved it. The visitors pressed us back again but the outlet Fenwick and Marlon were now giving us made a better game of it and Fenwick went close at the death, but I thought he was offside anyway.

So the battle continues and Marlon may yet become a legend.