Two Points Given Away

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Aldershot 1 (National League)
Saturday September 29 2018
Victoria Park

Today I was expecting a bounce back against one of the lower teams in the division after the defeat away last week to one of the the high spending teams expected to be in the mix at the end of the season. Manchester South or as we know them Salford.

The news that our oldest new signing had fallen over a slice of toast and was going to be on the sidelines again for at least another month set me off smelling fish. The lad was at the club pre season and has still not kicked a ball in anger. At a time we need a scorer it sounds like we have signed a sick note player which I hope is not going to be the cases the lad was good when on loan to us previously.

Three changes today sounded like the manager had his best team out, and in the first half we looked capable of getting a result as we won the toss which is always a good start. We were getting men forward but once again we lacked the final touch, the man to put these chances away has yet to appear. There was some good approach play but again no real threat on a side that had lost the last six away games we just could not break them down. Going close every time is not enough, some fans in the Town end were growing restless early on and Pools players hitting the ball wide or over the bar or just running out of space is not good to watch.
"Luke was just being Luke but playing up front on his own he can take no blame for today's result."

I think we got lucky in the first half despite not playing that well after the early stages we managed a goal contrived between Woods and Muir who made a nice lob over the keeper to make it one-nil.

They say goalkeepers have to be mad and Loach proved the point as he dived at the feet of an Aldershot player to block him and the ball and up until the half time whistle, which had been delayed for an injury to Woods, it was tough going for Pools.

The second half was all Aldershot when, as the Ditchburn Poolie commented, we had the shortest man on the pitch, Luke, playing the role of a lone striker and we filled the middle with six midfielders and the opposition overran us. Loach, who was voted Man-of-the-Match, made three saves in as many minutes as the visitors battered us. One comment from the Ditch was that it looks as if Bates is being over-cautious and hoping just to save a point but is still not sure how to even do that; if this is his strongest team then we are starting to see the cracks. OK last season we would have lost these games but at least at home you need to start collecting three points.

We did give up two points shortly after when a Pools attack broke down with a weak shot the keeper picked up easily and a quick throw led to a goal down the right and a shot across the box and into the net left Loach grasping at thin air.

We were second best from then on and if I was an Aldershot fan I would have felt aggrieved at the end result as they had the better of most of the game. A shout for a late penalty from Pools was rightly waived and not unexpected from another poor official. One argument I would have with him was he let too many tackles go early on when Pools players were getting chopped down for fun and one chance of Luke making his mark was waived as a foul against the defender when four yards from me I could see a hand full of Luke’s shirt and a ref twenty-five yards away gives the decision the other way. OK I don't expect officials to take any notice of partisan fans, I just want them to be fair but fat chance of that in this division.

A few players were off their game today. Noble was not his ebullient self, maybe due to the fact that his captain was back. Billy's Contract's nemesis Featherstone had a stinker. Wood who took a wallop early on was struggling but it had been a tough old game, which they all seem to be down here. Luke was just being Luke but playing up front on his own he can take no blame for today's result. Why have we a striker on loan that we are leaving out of the team for midfielders? Sorry Mr. Bates but despite our position the 3500 fans need and deserve more before they start early Christmas shopping on match days.

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