Something to Sing About

Match report by MIRFIELD POOLIE

FC Halifax Town 1 Pools 2 (National League)
Saturday 22 September 2018
The Shay

Several weeks ago, when a friend suggested we go to the Pools match at Halifax (as a Poolie in exile, I now live in West Yorkshire) I had mixed thoughts – yes to want to go, but as we’d gone last year and apart from a short purple patch, Pools were poor, some of the fans were voicing aggressively against Harrison, we lost; the whole experience did not evoke pleasant memories. 

However, this long-time Pools supporter that I am accepted the invitation and am I pleased I did. Now I know we played nearly the whole of the second half against 9 men, but even before that, this was a Pools team playing a quality of football I haven’t seen for some time – long may it continue.

For those who haven’t been to the Shay stadium – Halifax’s ground – it’s (still) just off the main road on the way into town from the M62 side. An extra main stand was open solely for away fans from what we had last year; the car park suggested was an excellent choice. Drinks van and facilities reminded us of years gone by.

Pools fans never stopped singing or cheering the whole match through; the players must have been aware of the wall of sound; it was as though we were the home team and that’s how Pools played. From the players’ warm up in front of us supporters, through the match, Noble geeing up the support especially after his penalty conversion and after a superb Featherstone goal, to the applause from players and management at the end, you’d think we were still winning in May not it just being September – what a difference 7 months can make.
"Pools fans never stopped singing or cheering the whole match through"

So to the match, we played really well from the start – who thought Noble’s shot was as close as to hit the bar? We could and should have been on the score sheet so much earlier. It was lovely to see the passing football. I was very impressed with Kioso in defence and attack, seemingly spurred on by our supporters singing his name; no wonder he was targeted and earned a penalty just after half time.

Halifax frustrations resulted in fouls, bookings and sendings off. Noble’s penalty conversion was well celebrated by us all, geed on by Noble as was Featherstone’s unstoppable goal. However, 9-man Halifax, after being subdued following the second goal, broke away to score and were re-energised making, for what should never have been, a very tense last minutes of the game and a very long 5 minutes of extra time.

We all stayed to applaud the team and receive their applause too. I was happily home for the 5.30pm football; most Pools fans will have had a longer, but I’d hope equally happy, journey home.

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