An Enjoyable Win ...Apart From the First Half!

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 2 Yeovil 1 (League 2) Saturday February 13th 2016

It was a whirlwind few days at the Vic - some might call it a hurricane judging by the speed of the action taken by the club. I Googled HUFC tonight and according to them Ronnie Moore is still the manager, so someone needs to catch up - no point in searching if the info is out of date.

As we all know, Craig Hignett is the new man in charge. One or two fans asked whether he is the right man, and if it is a good move to give him his first job at a time like this. The way I look at it is: the two managers before him have hardly set the world alight.

OK, Ronnie had a big day out at Carlisle when he was everyone’s hero, but looking back is a good thing and puts a little perspective on the situation away from the hype. Under Ronnie we had a run of four wins late in the season that gave us a glint of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, and a few other results went our way. This season has been in the same vein as the last, Pools having gained twenty-seven points from twenty-seven games. Pondering this I was looking for some sort of link as to why we seem to be just stumbling along. One reason was that Ronnie Moore had been there, but that was being a bit harsh. I have tried so many different combinations of socks jumpers trousers even vest and underpants to help our cause but no luck there. I did hear that the Ditchburn Poolie was even using a combination of his and hers clothing to try and raise our chances of a decent run of form, but I did not ask.

The odd game we have won or drawn at the Vic was when Frank Reid was off photographing a Premiership game, so he has never seen a win at the Vic this season. Accordingly my heart sank as I saw him arrive at the Vic at half-time today. Even H’Angus was missing today and he has been at every game. I heard he had picked up a stray dog, him being a dog lover, but the dog turned on him and bit him. Turns out he had to go to the vet's when his paw doubled in size over night.

Ever hopeful I put all the superstition behind me till the Ditchy comes and tells me this ref, Mr. Wright, is a dead wrong 'un. He just loves himself and glories in the position of centre stage. First half at least he was true to form, a man who collects the ball and holds on tight every time the game stops - reminds me of the kids' games we had when the kid whose ball it was took his ball home when he was put in goal. Enough of this rubbish, it’s the game we play on the day that counts.

With Featherstone, Woods and Jones in the line up, the new boss was making his mark. In a radio interview he said the squad he has got need to prove themselves and he was going to give them the chance before he makes any more signings. Once again the toss was lost but with three ex-Poolies in the opposition it was ever going to be that way. BUT - none of them were true Poolies who read the weather forecast, and the wind with them in the first half would be stronger in the second half and it was just that.
"The new manager must have a good line in half-time team talks, as the difference was amazing when the teams came out"

Pools were almost a goal up in the first thirty seconds when a Thomas cross set up Gray who bounced a ball off the top of the bar. Gray then tested the visiting keeper with a strong shot he managed to tip over the bar. From here on the game went down hill for Pools as the visitors pegged us back and the ref seemed to get deep joy from watching Yeovil trample Luke into the ground every time he got the ball, or wrestle Paynter every time he went for a header. I know it sounds like sour grapes over this decline in decent football but as long as referees like Mr. Wright get it wrong and allow this to go on unchecked, the game and the fans' enjoyment will suffer.

Zoko, the Yeovil forward, was a handful and liked to leave a boot in, which he did in nearly every fifty-fifty challenge. The first half the visitors had most of the game but wasted their chances, Pools had fewer chances but still wasted them - Thomas twice in good positions belted the ball wide of the mark.

Ex-Poolie Compton went down near the dug-out for no apparent reason, to jeers from the crowd. He was not feigning and left the field clutching his hamstring, to even more jeers from some of the fans, but in one way it was one of their form players out of the action.

Mr. Wrong did get it Wright and booked a defender when Thomas nutmegged him and was chopped to the ground. The new manager must have a good line in half-time team talks, as the difference was amazing when the teams came out. Of course the wind was in our favour but it did not stop the visitors twice early in the half ripping us to pieces and storm in on goal, missing two easy chances. The tide turned when Thomas, on a run down the Mill House side, jinked inside and was chopped down. Instantly Mr. Wright pointed to the spot and Paynter duly slotted home the penalty. Luke, who was again looking a threat every time he was able to get free, won a corner. Richards had been taking the corners and his average was not good but this one was perfect for Jackson to head home and give Pools that much needed cushion.

Shocked by this, the visitors put themselves about and a tangle between Paynter and a defender resulted in a yellow for Paynter and a red for the defender, giving Pools even more advantage. But once again poor defending allowed the visitors to head home, stealing a clean sheet from Carson as we had been looking comfortable at two nil.

So, a good first day at the office for the new boss.