In Control

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Wrexham 0 (National League)
Saturday 23 March 2019
Victoria Park

Another visit from a potential promotion side looked ominous today, especially when I saw the size of the defenders. 

Pools were on a hiding to nothing as for the first time in our history we had had three players away on international duty all at the same time. Luke James was the only one of the three named on the bench and he did get fifteen minutes at the end as Noble was running a bit hot and had already been booked; James came on and as usual rattled the cages of a few of the visiting defenders.

The atmosphere in the Vic was bouncing after a ticket offer was made by the club and the noise made by the fans sounded a lot more that the 3888 that was listed on the club website. It was good to be part of the whole event as it was a bit like an old-style blood and thunder Darlo-Pools derby of the past, only this time both teams played some decent football!

Ex-Poolie Brad Walker, who was on loan to the visitors, was absent and Clever Dicks only made the bench. One touch of nostalgia was that Son of Andy Dibble was listed as playing in goal for Wrexham, but this was switched to Laiton. Overall Laiton looked a bit stressed by it all, showing some over-the-top exaggerated signs of anger towards his defenders for allowing Pools players to attack his space. Attack we did too, the game was end-to-end throughout, and both teams were defending well and just missing out on clear goal chances.

The game set off at a rattling pace and Wrexham looked dangerous, especially the winger who Anderson had a job with as he was a real handful, but Anderson had probably one of his best games ever. As did Kerr; he looks like one cool cat on the ball - never looks ruffled and plays the game simple; either of these could have been contender for Man-of-the-Match.
"there were some naughty tackles on Molyneux especially, who was torturing them down the Cyril Knowles side"

Pools were awarded their third penalty in two home games as Hawkes, on a zig-zag run into the box, was chopped down. Hawkes stepped up to take the kick and from the opposite end of the ground it looked and sounded like the keeper had stopped it but the huge cheers signalled a goal for Pools.

The visitors tried to step it up, looking for an equaliser but they became a bit desperate and their game looked a bit raggy as Pools pushed them back and ran and were well organised at the back and retained the lead comfortably until half time.

Early in the second half the visitors put a bit of pressure on us as they kicked towards their own fans in the Rink End. Kabamba had a right battle on his hands but he never gave up, not winning a lot in the air but on the deck he has some nice touches and seems to be able to flick a ball at will in any direction.

Pools had to establish themselves again in the second half under a lot of pressure from Wrexham and there were some naughty tackles on Molyneux especially, who was torturing them down the Cyril Knowles side. The visitors stupidly reverted to the long ball down the middle all the time but Pools defence held them with some heroic displays, especially from Kerr and Anderson.

Pools controlled the game and played some very good attacking football to take a very valuable three points from one of the favourites.

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