The Start of a Cup Run 

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the ex-Vic

Pools 3 Stamford 0 (FA Cup) Sunday November 6th 2016

Well it looks like we have a cup run on our hands, well until the next round anyway. This one could have been a banana skin, as all these early cup games especially involving Pools are so unpredictable.

Pools were probing but not getting much joy. Could be down to the fact sadly once again we were playing with one up front. Four changes to the side from last week but it mattered little to the formation of the team as once again we struggled to get going early in the game against a team we should be blowing out of the water.
"I have never seen us give away as many slack passes as we did today."

I have never seen us give away as many slack passes as we did today. Stamford were guilty of the same offence and one wag in the Town End commented that they had been watching too much Hartlepool play. At one point in the half Toto must have been fed up with the lack of threat on the visitors goal, after going up for a corner he decided to stay there and rattled a few defenders as he went charging into the box but his shot was blocked.

The Stamford game plan was to sit back and try and hit us on the break but until the last minute of the first half they were imitating Pools by playing only one up front. The last ten minutes they were becoming confident and pushed us on a couple of occasions but not really threatening our goal. The stats might say we dominated the game but it was a far cry from total domination. It took us fifteen minutes to even have what you might call a decent shot at goal and twenty minutes to win our first corner.

Richards did have a shot on target but it was well saved by their keeper who was having a canny game. In the last ten minutes Pools stepped up their game with both Laurent and Richards and pressed the visitors a little without success but the visitors looked quite confident but the one shot they had was wide of the mark.

The second half, Pools weathered the early spurt from the visitors and having the advantage of kicking down hill they started to get some success against the non-league side. Laurent covered some ground in the game but only threatened their goal once with a shot that was wide of the mark. It was Deverdics who broke the ice after being up-ended. He took the free kick and calmly stroked a ball into the top corner leaving the keeper grounded.

Pools looked to be on top once they scored and the visitors, a little rattled, were now showing their true colours and leaving a few boots in after missing tackles as Pools began to run them ragged. The visitors were unlucky with the second goal when a low shot from Richards hit a defender's knee and sent their keeper the wrong way, giving Pools the breathing space they needed.

With the introduction of Hawkins and Paynter, Pools looked at ease in the game, pressing the non-league team back. Then a trade-mark goal from Paynter, who found space on the back post as a great ball from Deverdics was headed low back across the goal, made the scoreline look a little more respectable.

The five hundred and five Stamford fans were in good voice at the end, enjoying their big game of the season and the one thousand or so Poolies went home reasonably happy if not totally convinced that we had turned a corner. Some fans were complaining that after the first goal we should have gone for the jugular but the wise ones were saying we were taking the sting out of the opposition. So many back passes did not make for great entertainment but at least on the day we got the right result.

One little slip by the tannoy guy at half time was “The early cock off in the Scottish Prem” brought a few half-time chuckles from the Town End fans.