We Got What We Deserved

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 2 Gateshead 2 (National League)
Monday Jan 1 2018
Victoria Park

This match was a throw-back to the days of olde when this type of double fixture was the norm at Christmas but latterly it was another team -- I think they called them Dartinton or something like that; it is so long ago now I can’t remember them. 

I cried off the first fixture of this double act on the pretext of not wanting to travel up to the frozen north on my own as I had been abandoned by the sprog who thought it might be better to go with her mates. I don’t see why as I never stand at the Vic amongst her and her mates -- they are far too rowdy -- but the main reason for not going was our form leading up to these back-to-back games. I thought "What is the point when I can see them at home the following week?"

After a two-all draw all the fans I spoke to were pretty confident that we could do the business at home and finally get a home win. We had what looked like a decent side out with the return of Watson and Ledger after having spent sometime on the physio’s bench.

We got the early break when a free kick from Deverdics into the box was scrambled into the net by Watson. We looked comfortable on the ball and despite some dubious tackling from the visitors we looked to be in charge of the game. One incident upset the home fans when Deverdics was booked for diving; he was tripped and had he not been tackled unfairly by the last defender he would have been through on goal. Why would the lad when all he had to do was out-pace the defender and there was no cover for the last man but the ref blew and walked up and booked him. This brought a chant from the town End of “WE WANT A REF” as this feller was looking a bit like the rest of the officials we have to put up with these days and they have been dire.
"Pools looked to be going backwards, which has happened so many times this season."

Donnelly for me was man-of-the-match and one run he made in the first half was brilliant; he picked up the ball after a tackle near our box and made a fantastic run down the line leaving defenders in his wake. He did lose the ball in the run but battled till he got it back and continued his run into the danger area. They eventually stopped him but it was an impressive move by him who had a very good game today.

The visitors stepped up their game and Pools looked to be going backwards, which has happened so many times this season. We let them back in and they began to look the more dangerous side. Loach had to block a stinging shot from the edge of the box as they battled for an equaliser.

Hawkins was at fault for the first Gateshead goal as he chased a cross ball wide of our box and made no real challenge and the lad Preston whipped in a low cross which I thought he had scored with but the official site gave it to Peniket who had got a touch, but Preston has to be given credit for the way he took the game to Pools. He was causing trouble all game till thankfully he was taken off late in the game. He would be a good asset to our side on today's display. Maybe a deal could be done as Scott Harrison was rumored to be moving the other way.

Just before the break Deverdics hit a screamer that the keeper dropped but they managed to scramble the ball away. The second half was all Gateshead for a long spell; they looked the better side and seemed to break easily and with pace and put us under a lot of pressure as we were pegged back.

Son of Tinkler, a Borer loanee, was very slick and Donnelly had to be on his mettle to deal with his runs, We had a glorious chance when Rodney, who on balance had a good game as he broke up a lot of their attacking play down the wing, robbing them of the ball in a melee of tackles and stumbles but was unlucky in his attacking play. One great move saw him break free on the left and hit a beautiful ball low across the goal that everyone missed. The Official website says Cassidy was close but he never really got near it.

Deverdics, whose dead-ball kicking today was more than satisfactory, sent in a corner. and Watson hit his second goal of the game giving Pools a lead once again. The Gateshead second goal was a sloppy affair as poor defending by Pools again allowed the visitors to snatch a point and to be honest it was deserved by their approach to the game.

We have to learn to be more alert for ninety minutes and not give the opposition easy chances. They almost had a third goal as they come straight back at us and a cracking shot rattled the cross bar and bounced away with Loach nowhere near the shot.

All in all we got what we deserved and the visitors will think they were unlucky not to get all three points as for periods in the game we looked second best.