Bandwagon Keeps on Rolling

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 2 Mansfield 1 (League 2) Saturday April 2nd 2016


I am not sure what it is about Mansfield fans, they always seem to want to bring chaos when they visit the Vic and I am told even a visit to Field Mill is not a pleasant experience for visiting Pools fans.

Today I witnessed a group of their fans walking towards the Vic across the Asda bridge when the lights were on green, which means to normal pedestrians that you wait till the lights change. Some of this bunch, not all, but the Neanderthals amongst them decided they would not be stopped so walked through the traffic abusing drivers who were entitled to drive on through them. A young lady was stopped in the middle of the junction and verbally abused by some of these middle aged wannabe citizens of Mansfield. It is a sad day for football when these ignorant Neanderthals who possibly have been drinking all day are allowed to roam the town like young vandals then allowed into a football ground in that condition.

At the Vic there were a couple of announcements, The Jeff Stelling walk made a lot of money, but what I thought was odd was that because of that all us Town End fans next season will become the Prostate End fans as the stand will be renamed in honour of the walkers. Prostate End? - I think I will go back to the Mill House Side.

One rumour of the day supersedes the Colin Cooper rumour of last week, that Gary Palliser is now tipped to be the number two. If we hold on for a week we might lower the stakes to Gary Neville, God forbid.

Another announcement was the five hundredth game for Billy Paynter. I have to admit I was not always a fan of Billy Paynter when he first came to the club; he seemed lethargic and was looking to be another Howard, but since his return from injury I have to hold up my hands and say "Well done, sir". He is the master of his craft, always calm on the ball, shields and distributes it superbly, which in turn is a tribute to the manager playing two good wide players up there with him, bringing the best out of all three of them.

Mr. Salisbury shows who's boss
One good job today was winning the toss and taking on the slope in the first half. The bad omen of the day came once again from the Ditchburn Poolie who gave us the SP on the man in the middle, Mr Salisbury. He never smiles, ever. I must say he is never a popular chap at the Vic and his last visit was a defeat from Plymouth.

The game got off to a brisk start, with both teams missing early chances. A nice link up between James and Magnay set up Paynter but his header was wide. Despite his lack of goals to date young Luke never gives up the cause despite taking a lot of battering. There was one lovely piece of skill when a long high ball found him near the Cyril Knowles Stand. He took that ball down and in the same movement pushed it forward and raced down the wing at the opposition, He was blocked but the skill he showed was fantastic. The question was asked, "Should we sign him?", and the answer is YES.

For the first twenty minutes it looked as if the opposition were getting the better of Pools with some good attacking and some clever midfield play was breaking us down. Thomas, playing against his old team, was prepared to take them all on - he was on fire. He was getting grief from their fans but let his crosses do the talking, and he again almost set up Payner with a great cross but the header again was blocked by the keeper.

Featherstone set off on a run from his own half and after beating all the defenders in front of him found himself in the box; The Ditchburn commented that he must have had a nosebleed, being so high up the pitch. He was just about to shoot when he was taken from behind. And that nice Mr. Salisbury, who was having trouble keeping up, pointed to the spot. The last man had to go so it was advantage to Pools.
"Prostate End? - I think I will go back to the Mill House Side"

Paynter managed to squeeze the ball under the keeper. so one nil to the Hartlepool. Mr Salisbury was surrounded by irate Mansfield players. Green in particular seemed to be conversing with Mr Salisbury throughout the game and was instrumental in getting Thomas booked after he taunted the away fans after the goal went in. He had gone down to the Rink End to take a corner and a group of Mansfield fans marched down to the flag to give him grief, even spitting at him. I am sure that I saw the gendarmes escort one of the Neanderthals from earlier out of the Vic.

On the pitch there was a bit of a scuffle till Mr Salisbury returned the hand bags and issued a couple of yellow cards but the discipline of the Mansfield players went out of the window as it became a rough house game towards the break.

Bates blocked a shot on the line and Carson made a great save as we got to half time. Being one man down should have put the visitors on the back foot, but far from it as they pegged us back. Thomas was still taking stick and one tackle down the Cyril Knowles side nearly put him over the barrier. As he had been booked already, Paynter had a quiet word with him.

Pools were dropping deep and were under pressure for most of the second half, and it was inevitable Mansfield would score, and they did. Their fans started to chant "Thomas, Thomas, what’s the score?" I have no idea what the lad did down there but they were really over the top in their hatred of a former player, but what do you expect from Neanderthals?

The Nathan Thomas Fan Club offer 
their encouragement
Hignett took Thomas off for his own good and Woods came on and instantly picked up a ball and pushed forward. His touch was a bit heavy but as a defender tried to shield the ball out for a goal kick Woods raced down towards the line, slid in to retrieve the ball on the line and lay it back to Magnay, who raced, 'possibly', into the box, where he was chopped down and that much maligned Mr Salisbury once again pointed to the spot. When was the last time Pools were given two penalties in one game? Mr Salisbury you are welcome to the Vic any time, and take no notice of that slanderous Ditchburn.

A huge defender tried to put Billy off as he was about to take the kick, but Billy is too cool to rise to that and even taunted the player before he slotted the ball home, making it a two-one win for Pools.  Paynter was given the Man of the Match award but mine would have gone to Carson.

It has to be said that Pools were playing against ten men for a long time and should have made the most of it, but Mansfield defended well in the first half and were better than Pools in the second half. The Hignett bandwagon keeps on rolling.