A Drab Game

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the ex-Vic

Pools 1 Crawley 1 (League 2) Saturday October 8th 2016

A drab game today settled by two penalties that no one could really argue against. In fact Pools could have had a second one against them late in the game.

Once again we lost the toss and I think it is always a bad omen for us as we kick down the bank first half. The Ditchburn tells me that the man in the middle was a newbie but for once I have little to complain about apart from some very early tackles from the visitors that he let go and consequently they chanced their arm a little and got a few more bad ones in.

Alessandra was taken out on a run which the ref let go, then shortly afterwards Thomas, on a run into their box, tried to sidestep a tackle and was chopped down. Give Mr Jones his due, he promptly pointed to the spot. The chat was on the inability of left-footed players to score from the spot and sure enough Thomas’s penalty was blocked by the keeper. Alessandra charged in to pick up the rebound and push the ball into the net. Where did we get this lad from?
"Kieran Green ...looked like a pro today. He had a good game and was only replaced by Paynter late in the game just to waste a few more minutes"

Crawley were a good side but on today’s evidence do not take their chances. In their next attack some swift flowing football found us outnumbered in our own box and in a flash they had hit the post. Their rebound then was blocked by Bartlett, then a second rebound was hit against the bar.

The visitors were testing our defence and we rode our luck. Deverdics went off after taking another hit and a young Kieran Green came on. I had never seen this lad but the reports of his display against the Mackems on Tuesday were excellent. And he looked like a pro today. He had a good game and was only replaced by Paynter late in the game just to waste a few more minutes.

 It has to be said again of the visitors, that being a goal down was not making them too shy in the tackle as they pressured Pools for good spells of the game who managed to get to half time with a one goal lead.

Pools were trying to press higher up the field but the visitors had some quick men in their side and wasted no time returning with the ball to our half. It was becoming monotonous the number of times our attack broke down and the pressure was straight back on us.

Jake Carroll, marking their striker Collins, slipped on the ball and as the striker raced into the box, Carroll appeared to be hanging onto his back and Mr Jones did not hesitate and pointed to the spot. It was possibly the only real chance Collins had had throughout the game. There was an incident as Collins was about to take the spot kick and a Crawley player fell in the box as the striker stepped up to take the kick. Harrison was booked for a foul and the spot kick was duly dispatched, and despite a good effort from Bartlett, Collins got the equaliser.

The Pools of old would have died a death at this point but they battled on and Toto came close with a header from a corner that was inches wide. Toto was straight back in action, making a great clean tackle in our box to rob an attacker and break down the move.

It was end to end as both sides went for the winner and Laurent was unlucky after a great move but his shot was saved. Crawley had their moments too when a move ended with a shot that cannoned off the bar dropping for Collins. I would have to see the replay of the tackle that Harrison made two yards from the line to literally take the ball off the striker's foot as he was shooting and clear the ball for a corner. It was easier for Collins to push the ball into the net but that fantastic effort from Harrison saved us a point.

A good point, and I think most would agree despite not too many wins, the side are looking good considering the number of players missing today.