Couldn't beat Harrogate? REALLY?

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 2 Harrogate Town 2 (National League)
Tuesday 7 August 2018
Victoria Park

Pools v Harrogate in our first home game of this new season. Harrogate Town, REALLY? How times have changed. This Snooty North Yorkshire genteel Earl Grey tea sipping town has a football club?. I only ever went to Harrogate when the wife wanted a posh shopping trip. Sadly the last time I was there I found it to be far from posh. Just as run down as a lot of other small towns, due to lack of investment etc., the shops especially, are what you would see in any town now, so that should save me a visit, Although it could become a derby game for us.

Our pitch in the newly sponsored Sky Bet Super Six Stadium looks as it always does, superb. To top all that new investment the crowd is back too. 3623 with 187 visitors in the away end. Harrogate are going to have to do better than that if it is going to become a derby game.

OK it is only the second game of the season but Manager Bates has to get his selection right soon. One of the criticisms I heard yesterday was, you bring in a lad who has scored goals for fun and you play him out on the wing. We were playing five at the back yesterday which was probably a tad cautious. Having said that Harrogate were a decent outfit which surprised a lot of people. I was expecting us to thrash the genteel tea drinkers by at least six nil. Nothing like a bit of confidence at the start of a new season. After a very brief spell we were on the back foot struggling to hold them and two players in particular, no 4 and no 8 were running the show and looked really dangerous on the break. I would not say it was panic stations but when you see the ball continuing to come straight back at us you know there is a problem. Once again Loach was the busiest of the two keepers on the day. An early chance fell for Cassidy who hit the keeper and a great run by Magnay caused problems when his cross was hit three times at the keeper before it was cleared.

Donaldson does not look comfortable as a wing back yet he made a fantastic run with the ball from the edge of our box down the newly named Neale Cooper stand, getting chopped half way and still getting up to continue the run and sent in a great cross for Featherstone, who hit the keeper with his shot.

Loach made some good saves as Town put more pressure on us and we back-pedalled, one in particular when he dived at the feet of an attacker and then managed to lunge and scoop the ball off his foot to prevent a goal. We were lucky to go in without a goal against after a torrid spell in the first half.

It looked as if we meant business at the start of the second half, kicking down the slope to the Town end. Noble who looks a gem of a find was spraying cross field balls down the pitch to Kitching who also looks like a very good addition. Luke James looks like he has never been away and is now a stronger player who never gives up chasing. had a hand in the Pools first goal setting up Noble and Muir was there to head home his cross. The visitors played some real good football to get them selves even with a easy tap in.

Magnay seems to be playing some good stuff maybe because he was released from the job as captain the radio boys at the Maidstone game were raving about him and today he was a candidate for my M.O.M, he played a great ball in that found Cassidy with so much space in front of goal that I thought he must be offside but he took his goal well giving Pools the lead again. Davies man who took over the captain’s job has been immense in the pre season games and was the star of the defence today, he looks as if he could play at a higher level.
"we need to be more savvy in dead ball situations"

One criticism was the equalising goal right at the death and Pools got it all wrong just packing the goalmouth for the ball to be lobbed in which it was and headed home, OK that happens but it was noticed by the Ditchburn that when we had a corner to defend we never left anyone up the field whereas when the visitors had a corner they left players up the field drawing Pools defenders away from their box, we need to be more savvy in dead ball situations.

Overall I would say we were worth a point but a draw was fair but the visitors will think they dropped two points after a very good performance.

We look a tidy side ourselves and this unbeaten run is a far better start than last season, but we still have some whingers even at the first home game of the season. Rubbish one bloke was shouting and my response was think your self lucky we still have a team to SUPPORT.

Rumour and facts from the terrace:
Woods off to MK DONS and a possible “BIG” signing coming soon.

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