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Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Dag & Red 0 (National League)
Saturday Sept 9th 2017
Victoria Park

A fine day for football at the Vic today as the league leaders paid us a visit. All the doubts came to mind, however. Although our form has lifted over the last two games, you still wonder what kind of performance we are going to see. Some of the football and decisions of the officials that we have seen to date in this league have been totally bizarre. 

Harrison called for a quick start against the visitors and early doors it was end to end. Loach made a couple of great saves early on and Pools could have taken the lead when Watson headed against the bar. An edgy but entertaining first half with a very quick Dagenham side taking over the game with some fast counter attacking football. Loach must have saved four goals in the first half as the Dagenham attacker switching sides really got at us down the flanks, he looked unstoppable.

Pools look a steady side now and with the centre backs and Magnay controlling things we looked comfortable under attack. Connor Simpson won a lot of headers but most of them fell to an empty space or were cleared by the visitors. He did get in a couple of decent headers on goal but he later went off injured. Both Franks and Rodney failed to connect with Simpson and the chances were wasted.
"you must see on TV the class of the chip Franks made over the keeper to put Pools one up"

I did say at half time that the visitors went at such a pace they could not maintain it and would tire in the second half, especially not having scored after all the effort they had put in. A bright start again for the visitors saw them test Loach again but this lad is not just a good keeper he is an exceptional keeper and was my Man of the Match today despite Watson taking the accolade at the end of the game.

Pools now looked the sharper side once the ref realised there were two teams on the pitch and started checking the visitors after about sixty minutes of ignoring every misdemeanour they committed. Pools got the break they needed when Deverdics found Franks who turned towards goal and saw the visitors' keeper advancing on him and you must see on TV the class of the chip Franks made over the keeper to put Pools one up. It was time for Pools to steady it down now and take their time and play the sensible game. Magnay was twice spoken to by the ref for slowing things down. The Daggers did try to make a fight of it, their tempers fraying as their unbeaten run was coming to an end and Pools did the sensible possession game and let them do the dramatics as we saw the game out and the four extra minutes.

At the end of the game I gave a one man chant  "Top of the league - you're having a laugh!" ...but I did wait till the whistle had gone. Some good football was played today both in attack and defence. We now seem to have found our midfield and a balance in the side which we have not seen in a long while. Keep it up chaps.