Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Telford 2 (FA Trophy)
Saturday 12 January 2019
Victoria Park

Not so much a sup for the cup more down for the trophy, as the visitors from Shropshire made who were the form team made their first visit to the Vic.

Not sure if we have come across this team before* but one of our party confirmed that this would be the first competitive match between the two. It would not have been too bad if it had been competitive but sadly today's game was far from a contest, more of a capitulation. My notes for the day for the first half read: Won the toss; kicked up the slope the first half; one shot tested the keeper at the base of his post; one shot hit the Smith & Graham sign above the Rink End and that was it.

The visitors were at us from the off and sad to say Pools looked either too casual or lacking in ability to put any pressure on the away side. You might say Telford were lucky for the first goal. Luck had nothing to do with it as a diagonal ball hit high into the box just simply was not cleared and the striker had an easy shot past Loach inside his box with defenders nowhere to be seen.

Pools never looked like they were going to threaten the goal as their approach play was poor and repetitive: wide ball out to Kitching who made his way down the flank and the ball was either taken from him or lost in the melee of tackles. or simply lost in transit as the passing was bloody awful. The usual suspects, turning on the ball and again looking backwards, lost the ball time after time, putting us under pressure and this continued throughout the game.

We could have been three or four nil down in the first half and we would have deserved it; the visitors controlled the game and we were pressured into rushing and we had nothing in the way of what you could call a game plan.

Pools tried to turn it around but had limited success as once again the visitors outplayed us with simple one-touch football that we were never able to match. Two half time substitutions made no difference. Young Danny Amos for me was the Pools star man as, despite his youth, he tried to take the game to them and looked impressive and in a poor game was my Man of the Match.

Luke came close with a smash that hit the underside of the bar and bounced down; he tried to claim that it had gone over the line but the ref would not have it. I was unsighted so have no call on that one. Telford turned up at the other end and made it two with the ball pinging around the Pools goalmouth. The ball was begging to be hit home and it was - two nil to the visitors. Pools did get a consolation goal late in injury time - a header from Anderson - but it was too little, too late.

"We could have been three or four nil down in the first half and we would have deserved it"
A late goal was no consolation to the Pools fans in the 2000 crowd but probably helped the reception they got as they left the field. Last week there had been more anger aimed at the players.

A lot of consternation around the ground about the number of heads on the bench for Pools, Not only the manager and his assistant but also the director of football, who some might say is doing too much directing, or are we just looking for excuses?

It really was an embarrassing performance from Pools and too much for the home fans to take as a lot left long before the end of the game.

The Telford players were applauded off the park by those Pools fans who stayed to the end. The buzz going round at half time was on whether Dickie Dosh would walk after the match as he has previously done, when he could see there was nothing to work with. If that happens, where do we go from here? The answer is Harrogate, so lets hope that is not going to be another showing-up on national television.

* I watched Pools play a pre-season friendly there about ten or fifteen years ago - Ed. 

Front Page