Second Best

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Maidstone 2 (National League)
Saturday 5 Lanuary 2019
Victoria Park

After such a great game and result against Gateshead early this week. I, along with a few others, expected the team to raise their game even more today against the second bottom club. 

Especially with the return of Cassidy who had been on loan to the visitors for a good spell and was scoring goals. Rumour was they wanted to keep him but a few fans thought it was bad business by Master Bates to let him go in the first place and than this judgement by him was part of his own downfall at Pools.

Thinking of managers and teams not playing for them, this was highlighted recently by that other team in Manchester where player power ousted the 'special one'. I have this theory that Master Bates had the opposite situation as he should have gone long since, once his lack of ability in the job was exposed. The sad part is he had the Borer mafia at the club on his side and was big pals with senior players who kept their mouths shut and it took one man to stand up and voice his opinion and that man was Noble. Love him or hate him he seems to want to get Pools on the right foot and if it meant arguing with the manager when you think things are not right then he was the man. After the bust up recently on an away trip it was not long before the owners saw the light and gave Master Bates his marching orders.

It looks to me at the moment that Dickie is his own man yet still finding his way around the club. I would suppose he has a former player or two whom he thinks can do a job for us and it is interesting to note he is looking for a winger and a centre forward. OK, Cassidy is back and he did the business - a great goal today. His muted celebration was possibly a reaction to the fact he had just scored against his recent team mates of the last few months.

Pools were a goal down after basically the first attack. It was a good move by the visitors and sloppy defending by Pools after a super crossfield ball out of defence by the visitors' deep cross from the left and a ball was hit low into the box where it was dispatched past Loach with ease.
"there were long periods of the game where we were second best and they looked as if they wanted it more than we did."

There was a fantastic response as Pools hit back in no time after some good football played and Cassidy got his goal with ease as Pools pulled them apart.

Sadly it looked easier for the visitors to pull us apart and a copy-cat second goal saw Pools again at sixes and sevens as the visitors took control of the game. To be honest there were long periods of the game where we were second best and they looked as if they wanted it more than we did. Our passing was poor and they just got right in our face as they battled to take control of the game.

Second half Luke, who was struggling to get clear, had a quiet game but he continually pushed Pools forward and was unlucky when a terrific shot from distance bounced off the bar. We all thought the manager would change it as the system we played was not working and we were struggling to get back on top.

Simon Walton's side were really up for the game, cheered on by about forty fans and were making it hard work for us; they were quick once they got possession where Pools were pedestrian and predictable. The Pools changes did not help us as the visitors finished the strongest.

Once again we saw some poor decisions by the officials, It looks as if time wasting is part of the curriculum at nearly all the clubs in the division as we saw a fair bit of gamesmanship. I have never seen a goalkeeper take so long to take a goal kick and it took the ref eighty five minutes to catch up with the triple throw-in dodge by the visitors, who took turns coming to take a throw then giving the ball to a second and third player to take it; a booking late in the game was too little too late.

It was a typical trait of their shan tan manager but he came and did a job on us today. Shame about the amount of abuse hurled at the team from some fans at the end of the game, who were also shouting for Dickie to go, showing their ignorance.

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