A Corner Turned?

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 2 Braintree 1 (National League)
Saturday 26 January 2019
Victoria Park

After last week's showing-up on National Television it was odds on that Pools would bounce back - or was it? 

The first half of this game was a continuation of the Harrogate horror. Four changes by the new manager looked to make no difference. On the wireless in the car travelling to the Vic the Tees interview was all about the changes in personnel at the Vic and the job swap between Hignett and Richard Money.

The gist of the interview was that Hignett is far happier in the seat under this administration than the last incumbents running the shop. He states that the debts are paid and there will be no selling off of better players as had happened under the last regime. He said he is not in the job till the end of the season and is in for the long term and planning for the future of the club along with Richard Money who is quite happy to take the job of promoting the club and pushing us forward.

The news from the rumour mill this week was all about the changes, Sweeney to move up to First team duty and Willie Boland to be drafted in as academy manager as the board have ambitious plans to get us back into the Football League. As the Ditchburn said last week, we should have a reserve team to keep players busy and fitter.

One great piece of news this week was Darlo 1 Pools 2 in the Durham Challenge Cup, Pools grabbing two goals in the very late stages of the game snapped up by Hawkins and Hawkes. The Loids are only four points from the drop in their division.
"The lad looks a bit gangly and awkward in style but if he gets goals like this I won’t complain."

Today's game was a rarity - possibly a first for Pools as I do not remember a lady referee taking charge of a game at the Vic. Yes, we have had female linos and a couple of them have swapped sides at half time as they were taking a bit of banter from the Millhouse moaners.

I have to say that apart from the odd blip the lady did ok and was as good as the male referees we have had and probably better than most of them. She booked Kabamba for a challenge which we see let go every on numerous occasions and a voice in the back of the Town End rang out ‘ARRRGHH YER BLACK BITCH’, which was better than the normal bar steward comments we hear on a regular basis.

As I said, the start of the game was poor. We had won the toss and kicked up the slope in the first half and we made hard work of it as the visitors had a shoot-on-sight policy and they went close twice in the first five minutes. Hawkes nearly put Kabamba in with a real nice cross but he was unable to convert it. The visitors almost took the lead with a strong shot that hit the Pools goal post and bounced away but had it been on target Loach would never have got near it.

I said after the TV game that Featherstone needed to go and again he made too many daft mistakes and almost cost us a goal again as he fannied about with a ball instead of wellying it clear. I was hoping the Pools players would cut him out of the game as he was a liability.

The combination of Molyneux and Amos look a real threat and if we have both lads on loan till the end of the season they will be a big asset, both of them testing the keeper with drives and it is good to see a Pools team having shots a goal that really look like shots.

A poor challenge by Anderson gave away a free kick just wide of the box and once again the ball hits the wall and the visitors react quicker than Pools and a player made his way behind the wall heading for goal and put a low shot past Loach.

The cry from the Pools fans was to change it as Pools looked very nervy again once they were a goal down. Hignett changed it at the start of the half bringing Luke off the bench for Richardson and it changed the game dramatically. We were now the team on the front foot and the reward came with a cracking cross from Amos and the new boy Kabamba got his second goal in two starts as he crashed a header past the keeper. The lad looks a bit gangly and awkward in style but if he gets goals like this I won’t complain.

Luke James set up the second goal as he left his marker for dead, laid the ball on for Kabamba who was clattered by both a defender and the keeper inside the box and the 'little black bitch' [bless her] pointed to the spot and Josh Hawkes duly put the ball into the back of the net, giving Pools a two one lead. It was a bit of a collapse by the visitors as Pools stepped up their game and they probably showed their true level as there were arguments and fingers being pointed amongst their players.

There was a spirited challenge raised by the visitors as they battered the Rink End goal in the dying minutes; even the goalkeeper was up there to have a shot that was blocked but Pools held out to take a well earned three points and hopefully it's a corner turned for Pools.

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