A Great End to the Season

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 3 Salford 2  (National League)
Saturday 27 April 2019
Victoria Park

Despite them riding high in the division it was always going to be a tough game for Salford. Surely they will be under pressure as there is still a chance they will not go up. 

After the Pools debacle on Monday at Barrow the home fans deserved a "performance" from the team, win, lose or draw. Hignett on the wireless (how quaint - Ed.) was scathing about the Barrow performance and hinted that some players in the squad were lazy. Harsh words you might say but a lot of fans are expecting a good-sized clear out once all the shouting is over. Although the Oracle told me today that some could still be on contract till Christmas. That might work out well for some but Hignett did say he has been chasing some players for a few months now and expects to make some decent signings.

The fine sunny day was not what was forecast so it was a pleasure to bask in the Victoria Park sunshine. Well, it was for about three minutes as the Salford goal machine Rooney scored with a free shot, so not a good start against one of the form teams. I am sure I said to the Ditchburn that it was a flash in the pan and we would be ok. I tell a lie; what I actually said was ********. It was a very poor start; gifting a promotion team a goal like we did. I call this Salford team the Manure Wannabes for obvious reasons. Not sure if any of the glory boys were there, I just hope so. The tactic of the visitors was to launch the long ball and run into any Pools player they saw making a challenge; this went on for all of the first half. Luke was taken out with what can only be called a criminal act; he was scythed down by some poof in a ponytail who was the obvious so-called hard man in the side.

It was a tough old game as every time Salford challenged and lost they fell to the ground, appealing to the ref or linesman like Manure for a decision. Pools were kept at long range for most of the half and they defended well. There was a difference in class of player but as we know these so-called class players who cost a lot do not have any heart, and when things go wrong for them they go missing.

" Pools certainly put on a treat for the home fans in the last game of the season and, despite another goal from the visitors against the run of play, it was a great end to the season."
Green, the Salford centre-back, was booked for a foul on Luke which the home crowd thought should have been a straight red as Luke was on a run and Green was the last man. The ref produced a yellow which was a big let-off for the visitors, but don’t the big sides always get this treatment. The sad part of the half was the treatment being given to the Pools players which has been common in this division because the officials seem to ignore it. I suppose the officials are learning their trade too and learn to cut corners which will carry on until something is done about it, but don’t hold your breath. A challenge on Loach by Green produced a red card, although the ref only had a view from behind and, to be honest, he was unfortunate to go off as we had seen worse in the game that had been let go. One wag in the Town End shouted to Scott "You can stop acting now", but it is was a two-footed lunge that Loach had to dodge or risk injury and it served them right for continuing the tactic all through the half. At least this ref decided enough was enough and he was off after a long protest.

Second half we got the early goal as Kabamba fed Featherstone who scored an easy goal to make it one all. This seemed to knock the heart out of the Salford players and Pools really started to make a game of it. Holohan hit the bar with a screamer as Pools put pressure on the visitors.Some great work by Pools saw the keeper drop the ball in his goal mouth and as quick as a flash Kabamba pounced on the ball to make it two nil to the Hartlepool. Pools were now swinging the ball about and it was "olé" football in the sunshine as the visitors now struggled to get the ball and were reduced to snatching and hacking the ball clear - a different game from the first half.

Luke James was the next player to hit the spot after some very neat football by Pools opened up the game for him to slip a low shot past the advancing keeper. Three-one up against another promotion chasing team was just what the doctor ordered as the 3500 Pools fans enjoyed the moment. One chant of the day was "You can stick your money up your a**e", in reference to the Manure owners. Pools certainly put on a treat for the home fans in the last game of the season and, despite another goal from the visitors against the run of play, it was a great end to the season.

Molyneux deserved the Man-of-the-Match accolade but every man played his part today; well done to them.

Luke James was named Player of the Season, Scott Loach Players' Player of the Season and Kioso Community Player of the Season. I would not argue with any of that.

I was a bit disappointed with the visitors' crowd of 300 when you consider their position. Pools took four times that amount to Barrow with nothing to play for so just maybe Salford have a similar situation to Manure, not true fans and most of them corporate invitees - "Let's all go and see Gary Neville." Let's see how far they go on that type of support. 2500 average at home wont pay the bills. It also cost them two and a half million getting into this division. And a bank balance of £195.000. Nothing like the “Never Say Die” Poolies.