Expected Result

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the ex-Vic

Pools 0 Portsmouth 2 (League 2) Saturday April 1st 2017

I never really expected anything from this game yet in your fan's mind you always hope that we play better against a better side and just now and again this does happen. Sadly today was not one of those days. 

In fact it was a stinker. We battled from the off but once again, and I am not blaming the ref for the defeat but we do seem to have had a bad run of stinking officials of late. Mr Brown had been here before and the Ditchburn Poolie claimed he had not caused us much trouble.Well, Mr. Brown is a big fan of big teams and just could not do enough to help them along the way today, as they chatted continually throughout the game. Various players, when the game broke down, were ear-boning him about all the discrepancies they had witnessed. It is so sad to see football going down the pan like this as officials who think they are bigger than the game take over and ruin the spectacle.

One incident I do not remember ever seeing before was the ref racing over at the end of the game to grab the match ball, clutching to his chest like a player who had just scored a hat trick.
"Pompey had some decent players backed up by some canny cloggers - what you might call a balanced side."
The biggest villain of the day was the ex-loanee Kal Naismith, who went down in the first tackle there was, with less than three minutes on the clock when he clashed with Alessandra. Naismith flew in the air and screamed like a girl then writhed on the floor as if the Pools man had used an axe on him. To many cat calls and jeers to the official he pulled out a card and booked Alessandra.

You could see from the start the it was going to be a tough afternoon as Pompey had some decent players backed up by some canny cloggers - what you might call a balanced side. Pools were their own worst enemies, being rushed into mistakes with no-one capable of holding onto the ball long enough to take the sting out of the visitors. I went down to the corner flag as Naismith was taking a corner and stuck the camera into his face and I said I need to take a picture of a big tart. He just growled at me and moved the ball outside of the area as everyone started shouting at the ref to attract his attention, but he was not bothered.

Not long afterwards he was in the right spot to strike home a ball that should never have been crossed. Portsmouth looked to take a backward step once they had a lead but Pools just could not break down a resolute defence. We had some good approach work down both flanks with Thomas having a couple of decent runs and Amond down the other side but then it all broke down around their box.

Just before the break Hunt for the visitors went up in a challenge, leading with an elbow against Harrison and as they tangled the ref blew for a foul by Hunt who fell flat on his face and looked to be out of it. He was taken off on a stretcher but it looks pretty bad, possibly concussion but no fault on Harrison's part.

Pools then set about the visitors as we kicked down the slope and we looked a better side, getting into their faces and chasing every ball down, harrying the keeper who looked a little edgy under a challenge. Thomas tested the keeper with a good shot, and was soon back again with a rasping shot that hit the post and bounced back into play but Oates could not get a clean shot on the rebound.

Naismith had a hand in the second goal as he broke free and hit a shot that was blocked and a Portsmouth man reacted far quicker than any Pools man and slid the ball home. It was a sloppy goal to give away, poor defending on our part.

Naismith went close again, this time hitting the post from range as it ended two nil to the visitors, dropping us closer to the drop than we need to be this late in the season. It was difficult to name a Man of the Match but if pushed I would say Featherstone. Despite the odd turn that he cocked up, he held his ground pretty well and Harrison also needs a mention.