Not a Shot

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 0 Aldershot 2 (National League)
Saturday November 18th 2017
Victoria Park

A blast from the past as we meet an old foe down in this non league of football.

Both on the radio and among the fans going to the ground, and with two consecutive home games to come, the expectations were high. Both teams in a similar position in the league, good chance to get a result today and push for the play-off position against Halifax on Tuesday. The manager said he was going against the grain to pick an attacking set up for the game. Will someone please tell him that is what the home fans expect and we have seen very little attacking threat all season.

His plan was to go four four two with Cassidy and Rodney leading the charge, Now Cassidy has played twenty minutes’ football in the last three months and Rodney still does not know what position he should be in when we are attempting to attack. Sorry but the lad always seems to be running the wrong way.

Now a rant. Will the club at least warn the fans about these cheap day tickets for non-football fans. I am all for attracting more people to the Vic, it is good business and assures the survival of football in the town. As I made my way to the ground just a tad late, you just expect to get to “your” spot on the terrace that you have stood in for the last thirty years and people around you respect that. Today with this one-pound-a-ticket-for-youngsters turned out to be a disaster for me. There were six kids standing in my spot.
"if you don’t shoot you don’t score"

OK, you move in as close as you can and expect them at some point to drift off. Today was not going to be like that. This gang were the most obnoxious group of youngsters I have ever met at the ground. Both boys and girls used such bad language between them it would have shamed a bunch of squaddies on the razz. They foul-mouthed each other and other kids who passed, and when they did watch the match, which was very little, anyone on the pitch got the same treatment.

One comment from a young lad of about eleven years old was “I don’t give a **** about the ******* language I just *******say it. He said "I am going over to ask my dad for some more money" - why the hell was he not with his dad instead of harassing old folk like me.

The game. OK, the faint-hearted fans who claim game after game that we had sixty-seventy percent of the possession need to wake up and smell the salt air. We were at home and we bumbled through the first half without even a shot on target; we had no threat whatsoever against a team who stood back, weighed us up, then led us to the slaughter. The highlight of the first half was a great tackle from Donnelly to rob the striker of possession, otherwise he was one-on-one with Loach in the box.

Loach made a dive into feet to stop an attack and was lucky not to have been injured as the striker was off the ground leading with both feet. That was it until on forty-five minutes the Shots broke into the box, a simple ball down the line was chipped into the box for a free header; clever play that by the striker Mensah.

The comments at half time were "if you don’t shoot you don’t score". Simple logic from the fans but apparently not for the Pools players.

A nice little diversion at half time saw Malcolm Dawes come on the pitch to finally receive the Player-of-the-Year trophy he should have received in 1973. Shame he had to wait so long.

The second half we were expecting the manager to change things as we were not making progress. The first half had just given the visitors confidence and instead of us taking the game to them they set about us big time. Both teams had a goal ruled out for offside but again it was the visitors running the show. And then there was the obvious time-wasting, with players not even involved in the game going down, and with the rules being that if someone goes down the ref has to stop the game.

The slowest walk off you have ever seen was performed by an Aldershot player, which just frustrates the fans. In this division every team I have seen this season uses the same tactics; maybe we have to learn something.

The visitors ran out worthy winners as they scored a second goal and thoroughly deserved the win. Apart from the odd flick at goal the only save their keeper had to make was from a low cross come shot from Richardson late in the game. He was so pleased to see the ball he milked it all the way, diving to the ground clutching the ball.

The manager has to realise that his system at home needs more than tinkering and he should not field players on a whim. Places should be earned and then he might get some fight out of them.