A Point at the Vic

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Chester 1 (National League)
Tuesday August 15th 2017
Victoria Park

Not sure how long it is since we played Chester but it seems like a long time since they dropped out of the league, but the club was re-formed in 2010. Our second home game of the new division with a decent crowd of just short of four thousand with a creditable one hundred and eighty Chester fans making the trip up to the Vic.

They did not take long to find their voice as once again another “BLOOPER” from a centre half to follow the gift we gave Maidenhead last week, this time from Harrison who just turned and swept the ball back, allowing the attacker to read every move and the forward swooped on the chance which Loach managed to block but the rebound was hit home with barely a minute on the clock.

It was a carbon copy of the one Laing,  or LANK as the commentator on TV insisted on calling him, made at Maidenhead last week. It was a very casual ball from someone you would think should be more experienced than that. This was a bloody awful start to the game which set the whingers off and I was tempted to join in. We really have to remember that despite us being tipped as one of the favourites to go straight back up, the early promise shown in pre-season means nothing if you are not winning games, especially at home.
"We still need a leader in the middle of the park, a Tinkler or a Boland who can turn the game in our favour."

We need to start applying ourselves to the task as this division is a totally different experience. In the two games we have seen at home, the smash grab and defend tactics of the visitors are hard to break down. Teams will be coming to the Vic and expecting to turn over the big boys who have just dropped down.

Once we went a goal down Chester shut up shop with the same tactics of time wasting. It took an age to take free kicks and goal kicks, throw ins were always a march down the line, kicking the ball away once the whistle has gone wasting as much time as possible. All of this was never once checked by the ref, Ok I tell a lie; there was one incident in the second half when the visitors were given a free kick wide of our box as the ref placed the ball and paced out his nine yards. A Chester player moved the ball up about three yards but the ref turned and spotted him. The ref then moved the ball back a yard, and paced out the ten yards again making a total of about twelve. This is the quality that we have to put up with in the division. OK I complained last season about the officials but apparently this lot are linos from the league learning to be referees so I would not expect any of them to make a higher mark than 4 which the first and this one have been awarded.

There was a booking for Cassidy who never made contact in the tackle but the play acting got him booked. A cracking shot by the visitors was ruled offside, luckily for Pools. Deverdicks was unlucky, hitting the woodwork twice, but it was really a poor half for Pools who never really settled.

The second half had a similar start to the first with Pools humping the high ball up to Amond who never won a header all day against the visitors. Munns was brought on for Deverdicks, which brought boos of derision, not at Munns but at the decision to take off our only legitimate left-footed player, who was having a good game and leaving on Donaldson and Amond who were struggling to impact the game. Magnay, who for me was Man-of-the-Match, played a captain's game. He hit the bar with a screamer that looked from the opposite end to bounce in the goal and Magnay, Amond and Munns all went to the ref to argue the case but were waved away.

Pools were now putting pressure on the visitors who looked shaky. Munns's cross was met by Cassidy who now has two goals in three games and is looking the part. We still need a leader in the middle of the park, a Tinkler or a Boland who can turn the game in our favour. Munns could be the man but he needs to start the games.

Sad to say, the visitors even so late in the game were still wasting time but did manage to bring a great low diving save out of Loach to keep us a point.