Things Look Rosy

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 2 York 1 (League 2) Saturday April 16th 2016

Three changes to the side today as Thomas returned alongside Carroll and Bates. 

The ref, Mr. Les Stockbridge, according to the Ditchburn Poolie, was a colourful character, having issued ninety-one yellow and four red cards in twenty-seven games this season. He had taken this pairing before when we won and also a Pools-Oxford game when we had lost, so odds on for a win today.

It was a good start to the game from Pools after once again losing the toss and kicking down the bank in the first half, which was obviously the Flinders influence. An early slip in the goalmouth by Carson, who had fallen on his arris when retrieving a ball, could have been costly with a York man bearing down on him.

A lot of the players were sliding around but it had been raining more on than off for the last thirty-six hours and was still raining. An early run down the wing by Thomas found Luke in the box but his effort went over the bar. Thomas again made a great run in but his shot was poor. The same pair linked again but this time Luke scuffed his shot and it was wide of the post. The link play between the two was excellent today and hopefully will produce the goals for Luke before he returns to his club; the lad's work rate is phenomenal.
"Even the ref apologised when he booked him but rules are rules."

In another Pools attack on goal the huge centre half was skinned by Luke but he grabbed Luke round the face with both hands and dropped him to the turf right on the edge of their box. I think if the ref had been closer or the lino was on this side then he would have gone as he was the last man and he literally assaulted Luke. The yellow card was produced and Luke needed attention; while he was off the pitch the free kick was wasted. I am of the opinion that this rule should be changed and the aggressor in such cases should go off for the same length of time it takes the injured player to recover. I doubt that will ever happen, but it would be a fairer system.

The game was going well for Pools, always threatening up front and the defence holding York at bay on the edge of our box. Just on the half hour the big centre half, who was far too aggressive, took out Thomas after he had skinned him and Mr. Stockbridge, true to form, produced the red card. Thomas at times looked to be a bit off colour and not his normally bouncy self, but the lad kept going and hit a great goal as the ball from a corner dropped perfectly and he belted it past Flinders. I was critical of him for taking his shirt off to celebrate his goal and taking an unnecessary booking until later I found out that the reason he missed the last game was the death of his grandfather, and the message under his shirt was RIP CLIFF. Even the ref apologised when he booked him but rules are rules.

Just before the break Ducky brought a good save out of Ned with a long-range shot. Flinders' kicking from hands has not improved since he went to York but he managed to keep one in and York made the most of it - as the Pools players were already thinking of half time cocoa they let York in for a easy header across the goal and past Carson. One all at the break.

Early in the second half, playing against ten men, it became a bit pedestrian as York tried to make a game of it. Thomas was given a slap in a tackle and had to be treated for a bloody nose. York were having a little more success and claiming more of the ball and tested Carson a couple of times but he was equal to it.

Woods settled the side with a neat header which Flinders was nowhere near. He came close soon after with a mazy dribble into the box and a rasping shot that Flinders managed to palm over the bar. Ducky was unlucky with a double blast at Flinders who denied him a goal with a couple of good saves.

The game was petering out after a succession of substitutions from both sides and Hignett introduced a very young Jack Bamford, given a run out after signing pro forms today. I have not seen the lad play but remember his elder brother Billy being on the books not too long ago.

So another win and things looking rosy as we hopefully plan for next season with the news that Carson has signed an extension to his contract. Man-of-the-Match was Woods, who deserved it, but both Luke and Thomas deserve a big medal for the work they do and the battering they take.