Home Alone

More rambling from JANE AUSTEN'S ALLEGRO 


Got to say this is 'bizz'arre. Pools are at home playing Sunderland under 23's (with proviso for six over 23 players to be included in the side) and I am here, sat at home writing this when I would normally without question be standing on the Town End Emergency Ward Ten terraces cheering the lads on.

On the plus side I am a fiver better off (Concession ticket) and not watching two sets of reserves play. Even Brad Walker has got a game. Like many supporters around the land I have Geoffrey boycotted this tournament as a matter of principle. By way of compensation to Pools I will purchase an additional lottery ticket at Saturday's game against Crawley and might even get something from the club shop. As the evening progressed I have tried to pick up the result from The BBC website but all I got was that in The Ferrari Packaging Lowland League the game between Cumbernauld Colts and Whitehall Welfare has been postponed. Probably due to Snow. Well it is the first week in October after all.

 As I write I have just got a newsflash on my mobile from Sky Sports. It reads Hartlepool United 0 Sunderland under 231 Cripes if it is the under 231's we are up against, Len Ashurst and Jimmy Montgomery must be playing. I have just re-read Sky's message it reads Hartlepool United 0 Sunderland Under 23's One.

I read that EFL are going to abandon a league divison five after the furore it has created among lower league fans. I did not realise that they were looking at allowing two Scottish Clubs to join league division five at some point. You could bet your bottom dollar that the two Scottish teams in question would be unlikely to be Brechin City or let's say Alloa Athletic but I could be wrong. Who comes up with these hair brained ideas? Game over and Pools lost one nil to Sunderland under pants.

The only upsetting feature about this fixture was I did not expect the crowd to be as large as it was at 1,295 with 450-odd coming down from Mackem land, who were probably all friends and relations of the players. I was hoping for a crowd of around five or six hundred top whack and if nothing else it would be the equivalent of sticking two fingers up at the organisers of this extremely sad competition. I noticed that Pools did not make any great concessions on the gate for this fixture so they will have pulled in a few bob which will cover the cost of turning the floodlights on. For my part then there is no need for me to visit the club shop or purchase that additional lottery ticket I mentioned earlier.


Over the last few weeks I was looking at how some of our ex players are faring with their new employers:
Luke James
Rhys Oates 
Scott Flinders  
Scott Fenwick
Jonathan Franks
Simon Walton
Peter Hartley
Anthony Sweeney

All the above players have been warming the bench for their respective clubs, however recently Scott Fenwick has started a couple of games but no goals so far. Fellow ex-Pools team mate Scott Flinders was dropped to the bench after a catastrophic display of goalkeeping in York's six nil defeat at Gateshead. He was then banned for 5 games for alleged racist remarks and a couple of weeks back I noticed that he was between the sticks for Macclesfield (on loan) facing fellow ex-Poolie Simon Walton in their game against Guiseley.

After several starts and one goal Rhys Oates is pretty much a permanent fixture on the bench at Gateshead. Much the same applies to Luke James on loan at Bristol Rovers, who I am led to believe has not yet scored for them. The enigma that is Jonathan Franks is sub or subbed every match at Ross County. I think he has only completed 5 full games though credited with over 30-plus appearances since his move north of the border. Mind, the same player has got himself a winner's medal ...coming on as a sub for the last five minutes in a Scottish Cup Final of some sort.

Peter Hartley seems to get his game for Bristol Rovers with a combination of starts and finishes and substitutions. Anthony Sweeney, prior to coming back to Pools as a coach, spent most of his time on the bench at The Heed.

COMPTON: Totally off the radar. Unless he is out injured or gone absent without leave - no sign of him even on the Newport bench. He'll probably end up taking a flier and end up playing for Airbus in the Welsh league.

Matt Dolan
Christian Burgess
Aaron Tshibola
Adam Jackson
Dave Mirfin
Jordan Hugill
Luke Williams  

All the above players are pretty much getting their games and are regulars with their respective clubs. Tish, a £2 million pound signing came on as a late sub the other week and got the equalising goal for Villa against the Mags.

Spot the difference between the two lists. The first list is that of players who have recently been released by Pools or have gone out on loan, most of which are not getting a game even at non league level. The second list are players that Pools have brought in on loan from other clubs, most of which are now first team regulars for their respective clubs, the majority playing in a higher division than Pools or their teams are pushing for promotion. Luke Williams might be the exception as I am unable to find his stats but he has played three games for Scunny this season and could possibly be out injured.
"...and we wondered why Pools have struggled for the last half dozen or so seasons."

Two players who broke the mould and have left Pools and done well for themselves, and are now playing in League One are Jack Baldwin at Peterborough and Gary Liddle at Chesterfield. Talking of Chesterfield, let's not forget Sir Ritchie, 39 next month and despite being a coach at the Spireites, made the bench for their game against Bradford. The most succesful loanee that Pools have ever had on their books has got to be James Coppinger, who recently clocked up 500 games in all competitions, mainly at Donny. I cannot believe that he is 35 years old.

 Goes to show that over recent years what many thought to be reasonable players at Pools struggled when they moved on, James Poole springs to mind, who has now found his level at Salford. These players were obviously not good enough and we wondered why Pools have struggled for the last half dozen or so seasons. Looking at the loanees that we have had, particularly under Ronnie Moore's tenure as manager, it was these boys that pulled out the stops when required.


I thought that I had inadvertenly tuned into Strictly Come Dancing last Saturday night when I witnessed a talented performer who swept everyone off their feet including the audience with his Twisting Pirouetting Jiving and Tangoing which left the competition all over the floor. Then I realised I had just watched Dimitri Payet on Match of the Day waltz around five Borer players before slotting home.
A ten from Len I am sure you will all agree. Some say Payet was doing the Bossa Nova but I think he was doing The Boss a favour (Another ten from Len?)