A Very Good Team Performance

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 4 Wrexham 2 (National League)
Monday 26 August 2019
Victoria Park

A bit of a cockup today between the ref and HUFC. As he blew the whistle to start the game Pools only had ten men on the field. 
I understood that the ref was responsible for counting the players in case there were too many and in turn any short of a full team. Mafuta ran on after the kick-off, presumably instructed by the fourth official but was promptly booked. 

Higgy was kicking off but I did hear that Featherstone was supposed to be starting. He ended up on the bench after apparently being stuck in traffic.

The game set off at a good pace and both teams looked dangerous. Son of Andy Dibble was in goal for the visitors but he looks suspect and lost his rag a few times as decisions went against him. Wrexham had some decent players but maybe they have been down the divisions so long they all seem to adopt a falling-down approach to the game. It really is farcical watching grown men tumble to the floor at the slightest touch. Football used to be a man's game.

Approaching the break Pools went a goal down to a really cruel defection that initially Killip had covered. But once again Touré came to the rescue winning a header at the Rink End to level the score by half time.

At half time the Pools fans were upbeat and most thought that as we were kicking down the slope this half, we could do some damage. I also spoke to the legend that is Peter Beardsley and he thought we looked an 'average' side and that is why we are in this division. Funny how others look upon our team, I wondered if he was sniffing around for a job if Hignett got it wrong again today - he may have been under some pressure.
"It really is farcical watching grown men tumble to the floor at the slightest touch. Football used to be a man's game."

A bright start to the second half saw Pools taking the game to the visitors. It looked as if Hignett had found the right balance to the side, maybe only accidentally after dropping five of the players who had a game on Saturday. A lousy game that was too according to reports. A team that had shipped five goals in each of its last two games and went down today to the same score had held the mighty Pools at bay.

Pools were given a break as the ref pointed to the spot and indicated that Noble had been held down and he was so keen to take the pen he was raring to go as the visitors were still arguing with the ref. Noble eventually sent Dibble the wrong way to give Pools the lead.

Noble had his best game I have seen this term and was really testing out the Wrexham defence. He suckered a defender into a tackle and bounced the ball off him then hit it into the net giving Dibble no chance once again, taking the score to 3-1. Typical of the quality of officials in the division, the ref returned the favour by giving the visitors a penalty for a holding offence. Odd this, when all throughout the game Pools players were dragged and pulled all over the pitch and he never took any notice.

Even at three-two I sensed that Pools had the beating of the Welsh side and Touré stepped up with a wonderful looping header, a great cross from Noble being met by Touré and he headed back across the goal over the head of the grasping Dibble who got nowhere near the ball as it dropped into the back of his net.

The Wrexham player Lawler saw a red card for a two-footed tackle on Kennedy and apparently this is his second red this season and we have played how many games? Kitching, who was my Man-of-the-Match, almost got on the score sheet, racing in on goal and from a very tight angle his shot was pushed over for a corner by Dibble.

Today was a very good team performance and I cannot find fault with anyone. Killip made some really good saves and even Hignett gets a plus point for his subs that did not disrupt the cohesion in the side.

I just wonder if Beardsley had the same opinion at the end of the game.

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