Consistency Needed!!


Those Poolies who attended the game against Aldershot must have had a sense of foreboding before the Halifax game. The scene was set for another banana skin but lo and behold we overcame them without difficulty. 

Indeed, we might have had a couple more goals against Halifax. There was Nicky Deverdics’ free kick which hit the bar and then Scott Loach, aided by the wind, just came short with his clearance.

Then it was back to normal against Ebbsfleet (where the bloody hell’s that? I asked one Poolie). ‘Other side of London in Kent’ he replied and he was going down to the game! And so it came to pass that we got hammered 3-0.

It’s a strange league this one. At various times, Dagenham and Redbridge, Dover, Sutton United and Wrexham have all been league leaders and any number of teams could reach a play-off spot, including Pools. On most weekends, I have a bet on eight matches but wouldn’t touch the National League with a barge pole. A forecaster’s nightmare. It goes to show, therefore, if we can get consistency we could take the league by storm.
"if we can get consistency we could take the league by storm."

One aspect of the National League which I like is the respect between the clubs – and their supporters. On Saturday night after the Ebbsfleet game I saw a tweet from the away end turnstile operator in which he complimented the visiting Poolies for their good nature. Not all ex-Football League teams' supporters showed the same attitude. I don’t know whether other clubs do it or not, but I like the way the Pools give the away attendances of visiting clubs. Some of them have had a right old trek up here – and of course it’s the same for Poolies when we play down in the nether regions.

In our League One days, we were pitted against clubs like Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest and the impression we got was that their fans thought they had a divine right to get promoted into the Championship at the first time of asking. One club where that probably didn’t apply was Leicester City; once the reality of relegation to League One had sunk in then coming to places like Pools was a big adventure.

Another cup competition coming up – this time it’s the FA Trophy – and at the time of writing we’re away to Glossop North End or Workington. The latter club will bring back memories to older Poolies. Voted out of the Football League in 1977, the club almost went out of business in the 1980s but were saved, in part, by a fund-raising game in which George Best and Phil Neale took part. At one time, of course, they were managed by Bill Shankly.

Anyway, have a Happy Christmas – at least we won’t have far to travel on Boxing Day!!