CARLISLE UNITED 3 - POOLS 3   League 2  Saturday 2nd May 2015

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at Brunton Park


This was my first ever visit to Carlisle as like a good wine, I do not travel well. As we all knew we were safe after last week's great win at home, it was a day out and a celebration of the fact that after a tough season and a “Never say die “ attitude we still retain our Football league status. 

I always understood that we were classed as the frozen north of the Football League, but Carlisle is almost part of Scotland. What an awful journey to get there on a day when the Metro in the Toon was out of action and a pile-up on the A1 conspired to send every available vehicle in the north east on to our track, making progress through and around the Toon virtually at walking pace.

One occasional contributor to the Bizz from London thinks he has had problems with British Rail. To cap it all my chauffeur for the day was on a go-slow too. He seems to have an aversion to speed traps and a love of farm animals, especially cows. We eventually made the long trek and I have never waited so long for a Jimmy Riddle so I bailed out at the Carvery on the edge of town and promptly lost the crew. There then followed a route march up to the intended parking lot to catch them up, and back again as apparently the crew had just parked next to the Carvery and were inside quaffing ale while I searched like a demon for the lost souls.

Carlisle the sheep shearing capital of the northern wastes of Britain was smaller than I expected, but the two and a half thousand gaily-dressed reggae Poolies really gave the place a lift. Criticism had been raised on some Internet sites of the wisdom and the merits of a Bob Marley theme with all kinds of rubbish spouted about blacking up etc.

From what I gathered when the idea was mooted no one was going to black up and it was the fact the lad organising the thing was merely a Bob Marley fan, but as in the politically correct society we live in now, so much of this stuff is OTT. The only face paint I spotted was either blue n white or the multicoloured reggae stripes, and the whole event was brilliant and nearly everyone there participated in some form of dressing up. Credit must be given to the organiser, the Pools fans - and the team, for making sure that “Every little thing was gonna be alright.”

One home fan commented to me on my trek "Your fans have made a great effort today in numbers and their fancy dress. You will probably beat us, as this Curle feller never picks the same team twice." He also told me that before Curle was appointed, the Shearers had asked Ronnie to take the job on the understanding that he could save them from the drop. Ronnie could not guarantee that, which turned out to be very fortunate for little old Hartlepool.

Wyke and Sweeney, two ex-Poolies were turning out for Carlisle. The Pools fans were bouncing, but then going down three nil in less that forty minutes raised a few questions over whether we are good enough.

After a pretty even start they hit us with a great shot that some thought Ned should have got but looking at the replay later he did not have much chance of a save. The second was another goalmouth scramble with some poor defending and the third was a similar situation - not getting a foot on the ball and it was poked home. Three nil down in about thirty-five minutes was not the celebration we were looking for.

I went at half time to try and get some breakfast but the cavern under the stand was heaving. There was what can only be called a Poolie mosh pit in progress. The chant of "Hartlepool is my passion" sung by about fifty dancing Poolies was deafening. This huge surge of energy fuelled by the dirty water they serve up there should have been piped into the Pools dressing room, as despite being three nil down you could not knock these lads for their show of passion.

The Bizzies were in attendance and the Carlisle response team tended to hang back in awe, but my guess was as these lads were just letting off steam, no one was in danger until someone lit a smoke flare which seemed to clear the cavern anyway. Some might say hooligans, but that was not the case, it was just Poolies showing their pride and passion in a slightly disorderly manner.
Pools' first goal went down well

Due to my attendance in the mosh pit. I missed the start of the second half and wondered why Marlon had replaced Fenwick, but to be honest this was a master class from Marlon in how a striker should hold the ball up at the front. It is a shame he waited till the last game of the season to show us this class. (Of course I am only talking in terms of home games and this one away game so I expect to be corrected in due course.)

Pools were a different team in the second half, pushing the home team back, and Hugill pounced on a deflected ball from Tshibola, shot and slotted it home. Rampant Pools were at it again a minute later when Duckworth latched onto a lay-off, again from Marlon, and struck a shot home giving him the opportunity to do his tumbling celebration.

The Pools fans were in raptures as again the link with Tishi and Marlon allowed Hugill to slot his second at the far post and Pools, both team and fans, were flying high.

This was a great comeback with some great performances, especially in the second half. The Tishi and Hugill combination along with Marlon were excellent in turning round a game that was lost.

Duckworth had a good shift and Harrison and Aussie thwarted every effort from Wyke throughout the game. There was a lot of pride at stake which came to fruition when they pulled back three goals which sent the Poolies home with great cheer after taunting the Carlisle fans with what sounded like “Three-nil, and you fluffed it up, Three-nil, and you fluffed it up",

It was good to see Buster bring Hugill over to be saluted by the fans after turning round our season. I think I may recommend him for a much sought-after Headland passport, Sweeney also got a great chant from the fans of "Sweeney is a Poolie", which I think he rather enjoyed.

So now we all look forward to seeing the retained list and any new arrivals in Ronnie's side for next term.