Boxing Day Blues

report by RUNNING MONKEY at the ex-Vic

Pools 0 Blackpool 1 (League 2) Monday December 26th 2016

Boxing day blues for the Pools fans once again today as a poor Blackpool side done us over after another decent start to the game. 

I say decent in the sense we took the game to them in the first half and throughout the forty-seven minutes they only had three threatening chances on our goal.

With a strong wind blowing across the Vic the game started with Pools fielding an unchanged side. Pools were stringing some decent passes together and looked comfortable on the ball. Featherstone was the first one to get a shot off but it was high after some excellent approach play by the home side. Both Laurent and Oates managed to get good positions but both hit the keeper who did not look in any danger, in fact he had an easy afternoon as most of the efforts from Pools went straight to his arms. The Bizz C.E.O., who was paying a flying visit, had the theory that most of our marksmen were attracted like moths to a flame and the keeper’s bright yellow kit dazzled them so much that they fired right at him. It was refreshing to see shots at the keeper, as lately we have been trying to walk the ball in or lose it on the edge of the box.

Today it looked like we were controlling the game and looked more threatening than the visitors as the Pools defence stood strong. The visitors liked to put themselves about a bit and if they were not whinging at the ref they were feigning injury after every lost tackle they made. The visitors' best chance in the first half came from a corner that the striker met at the far post but was wide of the mark with Carson nowhere near it.
"the usual second half Pools slump reared its ugly head once again"

Most fans were happy with the commitment that Pools had shown but once again the lack of goals was very worrying. The last home game against Cambridge had gone the same way in the first half and then we were well beaten by five goals at the end of that one.

At the start of the second half Blackpool could have been three up in five minutes as the usual second half Pools slump reared its ugly head once again. Just what the hell happens to our team at the break of every home game? Is it the tea, the break, or could it be the team talk? We have seen this phenomenon periodically now for a number of seasons way back even to the first reign of Chris Turner at the club. Could it just be that teams know we are not going to score so they let us tire ourselves out in the first half then stuff us in the second. I think that visiting managers can suss us out far too easily and they learn our weaknesses and can act on them, whereas Pools' management are devoid of such guile. Whatever is the cause it is bloody galling to watch week in and week out.

Today the second half went to the same plan as the Cambridge game. A quick break from the visitors saw Carson make a fantastic one-handed save to keep it all square. Oates made a good run giving Alessandra a chance but his snap shot was wide of the mark.

Pools had a free kick on the edge of the box which in my opinion was taken too quickly by Paynter, who should have had the sense to calm things in a hectic spell, but he lost the ball through a bad pass and the visitors broke fast and scored, which was so easy for them.

Heads went down and the play became ragged and disjointed until Pools were given a penalty after a handball in the box. Once again panic took over and the fastest penalty I have seen, thirty seconds from the whistle, the ball was sent flying into Morrison’s car park by Alessandra.

The ref today, Mr Eltringham, was full of the Christmas spirit and did not want any confrontation with the players and ducked out of a few chances to reprimand the cloggers but did book one for a heavy foul on Alessandra as he broke clear, but by the same token he could have booked Paynter for a challenge on their keeper, but I think the ref was fed up of them trying to con him so waved it on.

Not a happy Christmas for the three and a half thousand Pools fans today. I'm not sure whether this is five or six games without a goal and a very meagre points haul and I do not really want to check the chart as I am depressed enough.