No Cup Joy

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 3 Gillingham 4 (FA Cup round 1 replay)
Wednesday 21 November 2018
Victoria Park

Another blast from the past fixture as Pools take on Gillingham Town in a cup replay after against the odds draw down at the Priestfield Stadium. The only notable thing I can remember of Gillingham was that Len Ashurst left us to go and manage there before he went abroad to manage in a warm country.

Reports of the game sounded good and having home advantage could also be good you would have thought, but remember who we are these days: a non-league side who are on the slide. All we needed was a cup run to get ourselves back on track.

The two errant defenders, Magnay and Davies, were back but Kioso was dropped after his clanger in the Barnet game. It was a decent start for Pools who unusually were two goals to the good by half time and looked like we were coasting. A header from Magnay gave the keeper no chance and we looked good going forward, causing the Gills a lot of problems.

The lino down the Mill House side had to be subbed off but he was poor anyway.

McLaughlin pounced on a rebound from a Dinanga shot and Pools were strolling at two nil. I thought it was odd to see Anderson warming up for a long time on his own in the first half and, sure enough, he replaced Davies, who just seemed to drop to the turf after clearing a ball. The manager says it is a not going to keep him out of the Dover game but sounds like we have another crocked player on the books.

The visitors got their act together in the second half, scoring a quick goal and kicking towards their seventy or so fans they kept us under a lot of pressure as we never got out of our half.
"remember who we are these days: a non-league side who are on the slide."

On a rare break Luke James managed to test the keeper but he took the ball at the second attempt just before it spun over the line. It was a shock to me to see Bates calling four and five of our players back to defend even when we were taking a corner in front of the Town End, Noble was furiously urging all the lads to go up for the corner and Bates was waving them back. I have heard it said that Bates is scared of losing but anyone knows if you are up in the game with fifteen minutes to go attack is the best form of defence.

Loach was booked for wasting time and four minutes had been added, One of their players had recovered the ball and placed it ready for the goal kick but Scott moved the ball to the other side and then moved it back again, bringing the wrath of the ref on him. Apparently there is s directive going around that refs should jump on timewasting late in games by the team which is leading. The four minutes was almost doubled as the visitors threw everything at us.

Magnay, feeling the pressure brought on by his manager's handling of the game, stuck out a hand as he misjudged a cross. The man behind him would have scored anyway but we had the chance of saving a penalty. Sadly Loach was sent the wrong way and the game into extra time. A goal from a Gillingham free kick and a late push saw them go four two up and our cup run was over.

The young lad from the Borer came on for the last twenty minutes and battled really hard with two defenders and still broke into the box to score a third goal for Pools.

Shola Ameobi of Toon fame is supposed to be training with us with a view to signing and another Toon youngster, nineteen year old Sorenson is supposed to be in the sights of Bates for a loan deal but is probably too good for our level.

I would think Dover is going to be a big game for Bates.

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