Should Have Walloped 'em

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the ex-Vic

Pools 0 Mansfield 0 (League 2) Saturday September 17th 2016

Rumours of trouble coming with the visit of Mansfield today were rife and the police were out in numbers in Church Square but happy to say there was no clash of opposing fans. 

It was a fine day for football and a decent crowd. Pools won the toss and in the first Pools attack Thomas was causing panic in the visitors defence. Alessandra also made a good run into the box but his shot was deflected for a corner.

Harrison and Toto both worked hard at the back to cut out any threat from the visitors but clean chances for either side were hard to come by. Pools seemed to have the edge over the visitors as they pushed them back. One chance fell for Laurent through a chip in by Paynter but he managed to scoop it over the net from close range. Pools bossed the game for long periods of the first half but just could not get the ball into the net. Sixty one percent of the possession was mentioned at half time. Wonderful stuff this technology we have today.

Although we looked comfortable and the set-up seemed to work well, it was worrying that after all the possession we barely had four chances at a goal.

Second half we came at them again, Donnelly, playing down the left, looked like an old-fashioned wing-back as he chased ball after ball played down the wing by Alessandra and some wonderful cross-field balls from Toto.

I spoke to Millhouse Sid on the way to the ground and mentioned a few players but he was not entirely impressed with the manager’s signings. One comment on Featherstone was “he needs to get into the game a bit more.” Well if Sid was not impressed with the lad's performance today then he needs to stop at home. Featherstone for me was Man of the Match.
"Mr Handley made so many bad decisions that he really needs to find another career."

Pools did score a goal that was ruled out and no one around me could tell me why, although a photograph later showed Thomas to have been offside when the initial header came in and he managed to get it into the net.

Laurent was unlucky having a good shot blocked in the box and he managed to get a second shot off which the keeper palmed over the bar. Paynter sadly looks slow now, not sure if he is unfit or just getting past it, but he had a glorious chance to set Pools up with a goal when Thomas put the ball onto his foot and Billy managed to fluff the chance with only the keeper to beat. This was Paynter's last action as he was hooked immediately for Amond, who at least is a lot more mobile.

A rare chance for the visitors was thwarted by Carson, chasing out and spreading himself in front of the attacker to block his effort. Thomas sent in a corner late in the game that Laurent should have connected with but the ball skimmed past the back post, but the lad is improving his game.

It has to be said today’s officials were poor. Mr Handley made so many bad decisions that he really needs to find another career. When in a challenge for a high ball, Thomas nearly had his head taken off by a scissor kick and the ref gave the free kick the other way. Thomas was expected to get some stick today and he did. Chopped down on nearly every run.

The linesman down the Mill House side had a 'mare too as he was obviously colour blind and could not even distinguish a yellow shirt if it was stuck up his nose. The ref tried to redeem himself when the Mansfield players had a juggling contest rather than getting on with the throw in. When warned by the ref the player holding the ball started taking the pee out of the official and pretended he was jogging backwards to take the throw from the right spot but was just jogging fast on the spot. The ref finally pulled out his card, it is sad to see a team timewasting with nearly half an hour left in the game.

Pools should have walloped this lot today but sadly only one point. We need to start winning at home. It looks as if Hignett is getting close to having the side he wants and you cannot fault their effort today. We lost Magnay early in the second half but Carroll played well when he came on, and Magnay's injury looked a bad one.