Sloppy Lost Points

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Tranmere 1 (National League)
Tuesday October 24th 2017
Victoria Park

RANT. Never in the history of human conflict on a football field have I ever seen so many cheats in the one team as the visitors tonight. 

Ok, you expect a few late tackles, the elbows in the back of the head. I don’t mind the odd push now and again in the early part of a game until the ref finds his feet and settles the game. Like it or not, it all seems commonplace in today's football. Tranmere seem to make it compulsory in their approach to the game. Pushing, charging, kicking after the ball has gone and even jumping in at players without any chance of winning a ball was all part of their game.

Today Pools fans witnessed the ultimate in cheating. Late in the game two Tranny subs were warming up down the line and one of them was trying to attract the attention of his goalkeeper. He was so desperate that he walked round the pitch and stood talking to the keeper and it was audible that he was telling the keeper to go down, obviously under instructions from the bench, as Pools were putting pressure on them. The fourth official spotted him next to the goal and came round to move him but he took his time and got his message across and was taking the P*$$ out of the official.

Within minutes the keeper went down in the box clutching his ankle and the rules say that if a man is down then the ref HAS to stop the game. The ref called on the physio and then was called over by the fourth official but no action was taken against the sub or the keeper. This is a new low in football but I suppose we have to get used to this in the division. Once back on his feet the keeper wandered to the edge of his box, keeping away from the Town End fans as much as he could as they chanted “CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT" but it was no matter to him as he just pointed to his temple indicating he was using his brain to take the sting out of the Pools attack.

The Ditchburn Poolie commented that this is a throw-back to the time we beat them at home and they went out of the league and we stayed up. So sad to see the game going this way.

Despite my rant on the cheating, it turned out a good performance, at least in the first half. Both teams could have won the game but sloppy defending from a corner levelled the game and robbed us once again of another two points. The run continues but the six early games and the points dropped in the run would have pushed us into the play-offs but I still think we lack that little edge to take us all the way.
" It was as if Moses had parted the Red Sea"

Pools took the game to them. The first foul from the Trannies took twenty-five seconds as Rodney was chopped down in the first tackle. Pools looked lively early on but a breakthrough by the visitors found Laing in a tangle in our box after Loach had blocked a shot and Laing managed to clear the danger. Pools had a good early spell and both Franks and Deverdics went close to opening the scoring. Deverdics can take a canny dead ball kick most of the time. One or two of his corners seemed a tad too long but today his ratio of decent service was good, less of the over-enthusiastic wellies that no one has a chance to get to. He looked to have taken a kick to the head as he went down in a challenge on the edge of their box and when he got up he looked like a kid with mumps as he had a bandage round his head and chin. He did change his shirt which meant there was some blood-letting in the incident.

He is not everyone’s favourite but I think that, despite his indecision sometimes to push forward, Featherstone is still an asset to the side and he broke up a lot of their attacks tonight. Tranmere were quick on the counter-attack and were keen to get in our faces when we had the ball. Magnay was having a good game and was not frightened to have a shot when the opportunity arose. One very clever low shot from him caused a lot of panic in their box till the ball was hooked clear.

Just before the break Franks, on a run across the box, had a shot that was blocked and Oates tested the keeper with a header that brought a corner which was cleared. It was a decent half for Pools, who defended well and played some good attacking football. Tranmere's game plan was to get a quick ball down the right wing to their Raheem Sterling lookalike, who was a decent winger but loved a dive or three, and Donnelly had his hands full marking him. The ref had to part them a couple of times during the game as the tackles got quite heated.

The second half was just as brisk ,leading to a much deserved goal for Deverdics, who hit another belter. The ref pulled up the game and we were unsure what he had given but Oates on a run was hacked twice and the ref played advantage then took the ball back to the original offence, giving Deverdics a better angle. I was astonished to see the Tranmere defence marking Pools in two groups at either end of the six-yard box. It was as if Moses had parted the Red Sea and left this huge void in the middle for Deverdics to aim for. I was looking down this huge gap and could see Deverdics lining up his shot, and said to the Ditchburn "This is going right in the top corner" and sure enough a wonder goal from the lad hit the net. Tranmere had not done their homework on him as it was a repeat of the winner at Shields.

We are less secure on the back foot, and sloppy defending at a corner then gave them a free header and it levelled the game, once again robbing us of two points.

Once again we capitulated late in the game after playing so well. We lost Magnay to an injury and we literally fell to pieces. The anchor to our defence was gone and the subsequent subs made it little better. We tend to drop further back and invite them on. We need to finish these teams off and as I said we just need that little extra lift from somewhere to make a realistic challenge at the end of the season.