Pre-season Blues

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 0 Chesterfield 1 (Friendly) Saturday 1st August 2015

I probably have a cheek to make that statement after last season's fare and the subsequent ‘Great Escape' engineered my Mr Moore and his staff.

Despite what look like some good signings, in the pre-season games I have watched, our team is obviously still a work in progress. O.k., early days and you have to blend in new players to a “Pools” system of play, and we have a week left to do that before the season starts in earnest. I am not going to pretend I know anything about “systems”, I just know by instinct what I like and what I don’t like. I have to say, having seen the pre-season games against Billingham Town, Whitby Town, Scunthorpe United and Chesterfield, I have been suitably unimpressed. I just hope that these friendlies get the bad games out of the way before the real stuff starts.

A win at Billingham, followed by a hard draw against Whitby and then an absolute trouncing against Scunny, when former loanee Luke Williams tore us apart, did nothing to instil any confidence. Today however, against a side that just missed out on promotion last season, we looked as if we had at last found our feet, at least in the first half.

We played some good football in patches. Woods looks good and he took some heavy tackles today. One, late in the second half, was a revenge assault after he had robbed and skinned a big centre half on his own dead ball line. We reckon the ref bottled it and apart from the free kick no action was taken, not even a finger pointed in his direction.

Carroll had a quiet game but he has impressed me in other games. Duckworth for me was man of the match, as he looked dangerous in attack and caused them problems, harrying players and chasing back. Bingham has some good speed on the ball but today found it difficult to break free.

Bartlett the keeper had a good game and looks very confident - maybe Carson has a job on his hands. Featherstone had a quiet first half but came to life late in the game with some impressive football. Harrison we know is a good player and Worley looks like a clone of him but has lapses of concentration. Bates looks a better player and it makes one wonder if he has won himself a contract.
"our team is obviously still a work in progress"

I was criticised today after the game for voicing my opinion on Paynter. In any of the games I have seen he has not shown a lot. He goes down too easily, in fifty-fifty tackles, and he invariably ends up on the deck without the ball, and totally ignored by the ref. This tactic is ok in the Premiershi* but not in real football. I pray that this feller is not another “Great White Hope” in the Howard mode.

A very scrappy goal after a bit of pressure from the visitors left us once again with an empty pot. No real noticeable progress has been seen in the friendlies. We have good numbers in the squad now and a smattering of youngsters, so I have faith in Mr Moore to turn it around once the season gets under way.