A Tale of the Unexpected!


Like me, were you surprised at the outcome of Tuesday’s encounter with Accrington Stanley? 

Let’s be honest, like me, you probably felt that Stanley should have had it sewn up by half time. They missed a bucket full of chances and Pools had little to offer. When we did attack it was a case of trying to walk the ball into the net and the frustration of the fans was evident. We seem to be unable to shoot on sight – ok, we’re not going to score from all of them but on the law of averages one (maybe two) are going to go in. Its not as though they don’t practice – in the warm up before every match shots on sight are the order of the day. As it was we got out of jail.

According to a Hartlepool Mail headline Stanley boss John Coleman identified Padraig Amond as the danger man. “Stop Amond and we stop Pools” it said. Mark Hughes took it literally and the ensuing penalty was a story in itself. As Amond was racing up to take the kick, the ref halted play to book one of the Accrington players for encroaching. Then their keeper saved it but two rebounds and an overhead kick later Pools were 1-0 up. You couldn’t write the script.
"...if points are deducted then I can see a ground swell of opinion to pull out of the next World Cup"

Even with Hughes red carded, Pools still had to rely on a world class save from Trevor Carson. No doubt, Accrington felt aggrieved but referee Richard Clark was correct in his decision. Some referees would have ignored it for a quiet life but others apply the laws diligently. After all, referees were told at the start of the season to crack down on this and, on this occasion, Pools were the beneficiaries.

As I said at the start, it was a tale of the unexpected. All this doesn’t mean Pools can relax. Outside the top five clubs there’s so little to choose between the teams. A winning run can put you in the play off places; a losing run can put you in the nether regions. Let’s hope we’re not sweating again this season – our blood pressure won’t be able to stand it.

Looking at the table, I think Newport County will be one of the teams to be relegated – since their Euro Lottery winner resigned as chairman they seemed to have gone downwards.

The poppy row doesn’t seem to be going away. As I write, FIFA are still considering what sanctions to take against England and Scotland. Now, we have Northern Ireland and Wales being sucked into the whole messy business.

Apparently, their “crime” was that some supporters in the stands were wearing a poppy and specifically the Football Association of Wales is being charged on the basis that a member of the armed forces was holding a bunch of poppies at the exit to the tunnel and that a fans’ mosaic was displayed during the national anthem. How do these idiots get into positions of authority? Football has always been a great healer between countries but the way FIFA has (and is) being run negates all that is good in the international game. All this does is turn ordinary fans against FIFA and if points are deducted then I can see a ground swell of opinion to pull out of the next World Cup. I for one wouldn’t be bothered. I would be saved all the claptrap that goes with these international competitions.

We’ve got Pools and that comes before the national side.