A Good Win

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 1 Wycombe 0  (League 2) Saturday January 16th 2016

After a good display last week in the cup, most fans today were just hoping for another decent performance to justify a possible turning of a corner in Pools luck and performances.

The new boy Nathan Thomas was the main topic of conversation. The lad is twenty one and has had five clubs already, The way I look at it is: are we in any position not to take a chance on a young lad who was obviously homesick and wanted to be closer to home? Although Michael Nelson used to say the same when he signed for Pools. He went back south, then up north, so players can be as fickle as fans.

With Mr. Moore telling the wireless that clubs were asking for ridiculous money for players he bid for, he was not going to fall into their trap, so did not follow up the bid once rejected. Good on him.

It was probably the coldest day we have had up here in the frozen north but for us hardy Poolies it was ok, at least the sun was shining. With Thomas the only change from the cup game it was Hawkins who missed out and he had been excellent in the last game.

Woods was the first player to get a shot off after a decent ball in from Gray. A foul on Gray seemed to set the tone for the visitors. They had two strong centre halves who definitely took no prisoners. The tactics from this pair would have been more at home in a WWF - the wrestling fraternity not the wildlife one - than on a football field.

Pools defended well and caused bother for Wycombe all afternoon but if I have one criticism from today, it is, why do we insist on lifting balls up to a strong defensive team instead of playing football, as we look so much better when we keep it on the deck.

Kicking down the bank the first half always gets my goat. Home teams should get their choice. Thomas made some very clever strong runs down the flank and some great crosses; some a tad too strong but this lad can run and cross a ball and it comes easy to him. Both Jackson and Harrison were steady and had to be on their game as the visitors were quick on the break.

Pools went ahead, deservedly so, after Oates won a ball and raced in from the Millhouse side and cleverly evaded at least four tackles before laying the ball off to Thomas wide on the opposite wing, who had the space to go for the line and whip a cross into the box, where Fenwick lashed the ball home. He deserved that goal as he had taken the brunt of all that Wycombe dished out to our players, but we know he thrives on confrontation.
" it adds to the confidence of the team to be able to withstand such an onslaught late in a game and come out on top"

One incident saw Thomas, who was standing in front of their keeper waiting for a corner, a centre half and their keeper all ending up on the deck in the back of the net before the kick was taken, and of course Mr. Brown the official spoke only to Thomas, as they went in for the break. Once again all this aggro from the visitors went unchecked by a weak referee. Sure enough in the second half it was a Pools player who was booked, which is annoying when you'd seen what had gone on in the first half. It was a good first half performance again and Pools had their tails up.

The second half, kicking the wrong way, it was Pools who were under fire. Richards headed one off the line but again the ball was coming straight back. Oates who had a great game looked to be the more likely to increase the lead as he found a lot of room out wide with Thomas and Gray being the foil, and Fenwick taking them on up front.

Wycombe really piled on the pressure looking for an equalizer and Carson was at his best and tipped a very dangerous shot over the bar. Under pressure Pools relied on Carson, Jackson and Harrison who were excellent but it called for a great team effort to hold the line as, especially in the last twenty minutes, Pools were under the cosh and looked a bit shaky as Wycombe came at us led by the veteran sub striker Hayes.

Fenwick is becoming a key player and is back to his best pushing the team forward not square as he had been recently, probably because in Gray and Oates he has got an outlet. Woods was superb today and was unlucky not to get on the score sheet.

Thomas went off half way through the second half after jumping for a ball with a defender who looked to have landed on his foot.

Overall a great team performance despite the pressure late in the game but it adds to the confidence of the team to be able to withstand such an onslaught late in a game and come out on top.

Mr. Brown - what can I say? A shocking performance today which does nothing for the game or your profession when you can be so biased towards one team just because they are at home. I don’t think there is anything in the rule book that says you must allow visitors a free run to trample and wrestle the home team in the way you did today. Thank you for the free kick late in the game when Carson got a boot in the head going down for a ball, ok he did have the ball in his grasp at the time so maybe you got that “ONE” right. I can understand the Town End barracking you after some of your decisions but my guess is under all the cacophony of noise you may have thought you were among friends and your best response was to laugh in their faces, Wake up and smell the coffee man,you were supposed to be doing a job without any bias to either side and you failed.