A Sorry Day


Match report by RUNNING MONKEY



Pools 0 Dover 2 (National League)
Saturday 21 September 2019
Victoria Park



What a sorry day for the club yesterday, I have to say from the outset that this was a tragedy waiting to happen and the instigator of this calamitous game was none other than Joseph Johnson, the ref.

I know we have always had troublesome referees who like to think they are more important than the game. There are some that will say we just can’t go on blaming officials for our loss. I understand that some night even say he was only doing his job as he saw it. 

The truth of it was, and I will be backed up by not just fans but sports writers and club officials, that this man was a disgrace to his profession. From the start he allowed the Dover centre forward Effiong to run roughshod over every Hartlepool player he made contact with and he did nothing to control him. Effiong is a big lad and can put himself about but that has to be within the rules.

You would probably have to see the whole video to see where I am coming from but it was really a very scrappy game that needed a decent and fair ref to officiate. One well-known ex-ref and a trainer of referees was scathing of the way he handled the game.

The key moment of the game was the penalty awarded when even the video shows Effiong hoof the ball over to Morrisons from two yards out, jump over the Pools tackle then claim he was caught. I was five yards from it and that is how I saw it. The ref was outside the box and blew for a foul instantly.
"Dover did a job on us and despite the poorest set of officials we have ever seen, we would have struggled to get a result in this game"

What came after the penalty was converted has been much discussed, was completely unacceptable, and hopefully nothing similar will ever be seen at the Vic again.

To the football

I have to say, Dover did a job on us and despite the poorest set of officials we have ever seen, we would have struggled to get a result in this game, and Dover were very tight on every move we made and literally jumped in on every tackle. Toure was his usual magic self and he was denied at least one penalty in the first half. The penalty was given after a Cunningham tackle and, as we had known from the kick-off, this ref was never going to favour Pools. We could not even win s fifty-fifty balls, never mind free kicks for the number of wrestling fouls and two-footed tackles etc. that we had to endure, and which went on uncontested by the ref throughout the game.

Kabamba on a run in the box was chopped down and the ref ignored it. Shortly afterwards Toure was brought down and the decision was once again waived, which brought Donaldson in to have a word, as is his job as captain, and he was sent off. Hignett was also given a red card in the melee and shortly after that Featherstone was red carded for something he also said to the ref.

Reports that a Pools supporter got into the tunnel where more ructions went on are unconfirmed but there was some action in that area as the players and officials left the field.     

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