Playing With the Big Boys

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 0 Bournemouth 4 (League Cup) Tuesday August 25th 2015

The big boys are up for the cup. There had been some discussion the previous night as to how long it was since we were in the same division as the visitors, the consensus being about four seasons. By the end of the night it felt more like light years, as the visitors ran riot from the start. 

Once again all the omens were against us in this tie. It was a fine night - no wintry conditions for the southern visitors to endure in this frozen outback.

The official was the number twelve for Bournemouth, Mr. "Boys Own" Boyeson, who never seems anything less than biased against Pools. When has he ever done us any favors? So of course being with the new "toast of the new intake" on the Premiersh*t gravy train, true to form he crawls all over them. He even allowed them to win the toss and turn us around. Some will say there is no evidence of an advantage kicking one way or the other but mentally to a home fan it matters a great deal and a law should be brought in to have your second half as you want it - kicking in to the home end. Some will even say I am biased against this fine upstanding sports person. I would say, on past history, yes I am.

The benevolent Boyeson was in action within seconds of the kick off when Carroll was summarily felled to the ground by an over-the-top tackle that, had it been in the visitors' normal work place it would have been re-run time and again as they made up their minds if it was worthy of a criminal damage claim. As it was only a Hartlepool player, Boyzone gave the free kick and that was that.

In their first attack Bournemouth hit a screamer that hit the bar and bounced back into play. As I was at the other end of the field I would swear it never crossed the line. They were looking very threatening and Boyce, who looks a good player, made a great tackle in the box as we fought a rearguard action that continued throughout the half.

Like with all Premier League teams, bodily contact is not allowed and is classed as unnecessary roughness, and gives the opposition players the chance to lie down and stop the game until a free kick is given. There were a couple of times you heard ironic cheers when Boyzone gave us a free kick.

The Cherries came at us from all sides, they were fast furious and direct and we were all over the place. We just could not get a foot on the ball, and when we did get any possession we gave it up too easily under the pressure.
"Around the half hour mark they took the lead. I was surprised we had lasted that long."

Barrett, who is in good form, made a great save from close range as they continued to pull us apart with some very slick football. Around the half hour mark they took the lead. I was surprised we had lasted that long. Paynter was so deep helping out that if we did win possession there was no outlet up front.

As the constant pressure continued we were two down on thirty-three minutes from a low easy shot. They were good at opening us up and making chances.

Just before the break they hit the third from another benevolent Boyzone free kick which Barratt had no chance of stopping.

Paynter did not come out for the second half, perhaps being rested for Saturday, as he was getting no joy from this game. Fenwick came on and started to bully the opposition a bit and we were making a better game of it.

Woods looked to be limping and he was off for Walker, who did have a good shot, as close to a goal as we were going to get on the night, but the keeper palmed it over. Bartlett made a great one-on-one block as an attacker broke through, and the Pools stopper charged down the savage close-range shot.

Bournemouth did get a fourth when an attacker rounded the exposed Pools keeper to roll the ball into the net.

 Pools were having a little success late in the game and a link between Duckworth and Bingham made a great chance for the striker who lashed at the ball and hit the side netting.

Not one of our better performances and I hope the crowd of nearly five thousand returns for the game against Carlisle. This result was only what we expected and it was a shame that one or two of the visitors thought it was clever to showboat against the lower opposition, but I am sure the boot will be on the other foot once the Prem get to grips with the new boys.

I was tempted to go and let two tyres down on Mr. Boyzone's car, but that would have been petty, so I only did one. Joking - honest!