How Long Before Action Is Taken?

RUNNING MONKEY witnesses proof of the need for change

Pools 1 Stevenage 2  (League 2) Tuesday February 9th 2016

With the game at the weekend called off again, that must be another record with both the home and away games being called off in one season. 

One rumour, that Notts County had never even attempted to put a fork to their waterlogged pitch after the flooding, was that either they didn't have a fork or just maybe they wanted to dodge the game because of injuries. Travelling fans were not amused as most of them were either at the ground or on their way when the official called it off.

There were five changes to the Pools side to make way for the return of both Paynter and Luke James. Luke was, I hoped, to be a bit of a bonus if his form was anything like his previous time at the Vic. He did not disappoint, turning in a typical James performance, earning the Man-of-the-Match accolade. This against some pretty rough treatment from a pair of burly centre halves who took no prisoners. Luke took it well, and now looks a tougher player himself, and showed some good skill and character today, the lad did well. Although one wag in the crowd said he should be fined for the three days he took off from training during the deal he was making with Posh. Another thought on the Posh deal - did we ever get paid for him, and is this loan a way of skimming off some of the debt we are owed? Don’t you just love a good rumour.
"We just could not get the ball, never mind hold on to it"

The Ditchburn Poolie gave us the SP on the ref, who is in his first season but had been at the Vic in the past for some nondescript game. His form in the league ranks has been quite colourful; in the words of the Ditchburn it will be “feast or famine” as far as the cards go, averaging about seven in his last few matches. The Ditchburn was right. Two Pools players booked and I lost count of the Stevenage players as I ran out of notepaper. One thing I will say about the ref is, you have to show even more authority when players are taking the p***. Four minutes to celebrate a goal is a tad too long and if the opposition keeper had wasted any more time once they took the lead then we would have been playing all night, but this is a practised art by the visitors, as once again they had men falling down all over the pitch feigning injury once Pools started to make any headway, just as they did on their last visit to the Vic.

Actually winning the toss and kicking up bank today was a pleasant surprise, but the five changes to the side only made us look like a bunch of strangers, and in turn many fans were asking how long Ronnie can go on.

The visitors set about us from the first whistle and we could do nothing about it. The new midfield set up was overrun and we made them look good. Carson was quick off his line to smother a ball in the first attack and he made one hell of a diving save which, the Ditchburn commented, was the best save he had seen. Carson followed it up with another to deny the visitors.

We just could not get the ball, never mind hold on to it, and despite the visitors not having won in their last nine they were hammering us and we stood and watched. Picking up scraps in a home game is not good enough.

Luke made the odd sortie but he became a marked man and it was half an hour before we even looked like we could make a fight of it, but then they hit us with a beautiful shot. As the attacker tracked along the edge of the box we stood and watched as he hit a screamer into the top corner that even the Pools fans applauded.

The second half was a slight improvement from Pools, but again we were limited to the odd cross and a rare speculative shot, Their second goal was easier than the first, which saw a few of the home fans heading for the gate. Sadly those fans missed the one brief good move from Pools when a decent cross from Richards found Paynter at the back post and he side footed the ball over the line.

Despite the introduction of Fenwick, Laurent and Bingham, it made little difference and the visitors looked the stronger side at the end.

You could say the boss’s selection was wrong today and it is not the first time he has selected players out of position to accommodate others in the line up. With both Harrison and Featherstone fit and on the bench I think Ronnie got it wrong this time, but how long will the club allow this slide to go on before action is taken?