A Poor Show

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 1 Accrington Stanley 2 (League 2) Tuesday April 19th 2016

Promotion candidates came to town tonight and it looked as if we had surrendered before the game started. 

If I was manager of one of the other top contenders I would be asking the question as to why we had to make five changes for the game tonight, but I suppose it is the manager’s prerogative to change his side.

We look to be safe now after a decent run and he could be looking at fringe players in order to assess them for next term. It did not look good changing half the side like we did. Richards, Laurent, Walker, Bingham and Gray all came into the side.

Walker only lasted till half time so I would imagine it was his last hurrah before he goes to pastures new. The lad has gone backwards since the Wolves interest - that could be deliberate on his own part, but it is a shame to see such a promising player look out of his depth in games. Richards is a little erratic in his form, and Bingham struggles to hold the ball up. Laurent looks a tidy player but is not match fit. And both Gray and James will be moving on. Which makes me wonder what tonight’s exercise was all about.
"Cross? Most of the Town End were a bit more than cross."

As you all know, I never criticise officials but Steve Martin (remember him from the Rowan and Martin Laugh In?), well, I never rated him as a comedian and in his new career with the whistle he is a better comedian than a ref. This man was the pits. Not just the worst this season but also the worst in a long time. This feller did not waste time judging fifty-fifty balls, he never even judged sixty-forty, he just gave every decision to the visitors. The Accy captain was in his ear all night and it looked as if he was guiding the ref through his decisions and was given everything he asked for.

OK, I know it feels like that at some games but when you get one in five you get a bit peeved, but then when you get the one in five and you are instantly pulled up for an infringement once the kick is taken, you do get a bit cross. Cross? Most of the Town End were a bit more than cross. When we did get the one in five there were jeers of derision from the home fans, but this type of official thrives on that.

As the game started we had an early chance when Gray broke clear up the field but his effort was blocked. In their first attack the visitors went one up from a well-worked short corner, which ended with a chip over Carson. Not a good start.

Throughout the game Buxton for the visitors ran the show, playing some good balls up for Billy Kee who had a shoot-on-sight policy. Buxton was forever going to ground and getting the decisions from the comedian Martin. Kicking to the Rink End there were twenty-four minutes on the clock when we won our first corner. Bingham on the edge of the box headed Richards' cross back across the goal, making it one-all.

Thomas made a couple of decent runs but the visitors had done their homework and he was limited to long range shots, and if he did get near the box he was hammered.

Accrington's second goal came after Carson palmed a low shot away that hit the bottom of the post and fell for the unmarked striker who just slid it home.

The second half saw Featherstone come on for Walker and he made a big difference, holding the ball up and at least attempting to push the lads forward. We managed to win our second free kick of the game in what you might call a decent position, but it ended with a weak shot by Laurent from the edge of the box.

Most of the game we were backed into our own half and the sloppy distribution kept us there. Jackson made a run on goal but his effort was cleared and at the other end Carson made a great save from from five yards out. Jackson and a striker went up for the same ball in our box and both needed treatment but by the time the stretcher was found they had both recovered.

We were given a late chance after Martin gave us another free kick on the edge of the box, All hands on deck as the ball was sent in and Thomas, Woods and James all had shots before Martin gave Accrington a free kick to ease the pressure after Luke was flattened. Once away from their box, the ref blew for full time.

A poor show for the second last home game and a lot of fans complained about the selection and the poor display. Take nothing from Accrington, they play to their strengths and they did a job on us as they did last season. They played the better football, but not sure if they are good enough to go up.