Pretty Much Like Last Season

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 0 Dover 1 (National League)
Saturday August 5th 2017
Victoria Park

At ten to three as the lads were warming up the heavens opened and a lot of fans in shirt sleeves were thoroughly soaked. A nice start to our season I thought. Welcome to non league football. After all the euphoria of the great football we had seen in some of the pre-season friendlies, the 3954 Pools fans that filled the Vic today were, like myself, expecting a lot more than what was on show in todays debut game.

As Dover only brought one coachload it proves the point that the Pools fans will turn up, but Pools had better start showing more that what we were served up today. OK the first game of the new season, but it was so important to put on a display to keep those fans and let the other teams in the division know that we mean business.
"we were ordinary and were bullied off the ball for most of the game"

Sadly, after fifteen minutes it was poor fare and looked pretty much like last season. Despite the change in personnel, we were ordinary and were bullied off the ball for most of the game. Dover had a few decent players but most of them were just big hoofers who, once they took the lead, did everything they could to disrupt the game.

I made a pact not to slag off officials this term as we just cannot go on blaming them for our ills. I will instead give the ref marks out of ten at the end of the piece. Well, maybe I will have a little moan as the excuse is you play non-league football so you get non-league officials which, like today, give you abysmal service.

For the game itself there was very little to write home about as Dover snatched an early lead with at least three players offside but the unknown ref allowed the goal and the lino on the Millhouse side was so far out of position he would not have seen it anyway.

From the goal onwards it was a shambles as Dover took every second they could out of the clock with throwing the ball away, passing it along the line and back again till they decided to take the throw in or one of the many free kicks they were awarded. It was frustrating for the fans and rattled the Pools players that you could visibly see the discipline go from the lads. I'm not sure how many were booked but it was awful to watch.

As I said earlier it was a bit like the end of last season; today I counted only three shots that could be called chances throughout the whole game. So not an auspicious start to our non-league career. The manager made some changes in the second half bringing on Oates and Cassidy for Munns and Woods, who really had been ineffective. This helped to carry the game to Dover a little more but not enough to save the day.

So with three away games coming up in the next two weeks we need to start showing some progress. I had to sack the Ditchburn Poolie, as, when I asked him who the official was he said he had no idea. One name of interest in the Dover side apart from Ryan Bird (who did not do a lot) was NORTIEI NORTY who we nicknamed A DRAW.

Kevin Kyle of Radio Tees fame said his father should have christened him Very. Before the game Kyle was extolling the virtues of Pools and his opinion was that we are one of the favourites to go straight back up at the end of the season.


I must add that Podge, Oates, Harrison and even the manager were taking issue with the official as they left the pitch, and the mark out of ten for his performance today is: minus 4.