It All Began in March...


Well, its been a difficult month. Inconsistency on the field and then problems arising out of the match against Dover. I can’t help feeling that it all goes back to Saturday, 9th March 2019 when Dover Athletic arrived along with their 23 fans.

Remember it? Dover were 2-0 up and coasting to an away victory when, all of a sudden, it was crash, bang, wallop. Pools were awarded two penalties in three minutes and then netted the winner in added time. So we can say that Dover were up for it and determined to square the circle. Thus when Inih Effiong netted the penalty there was jubilation all round in front of the Town End.

Such was the jubilation that this alienated many Poolies. However, what followed next was uncalled for when Effiong was subjected to racial abuse. All the players, both from Pools and Dover, were united in being disgusted at the turn of events. How can any decent Pools fan express such sentiments when we have a number of players of colour?

Pools were quick to implement damage limitation and we can only hope that the FA and National League deal with the club in a lenient fashion. They need to pay attention to the way players over-celebrate a goal in front of opposing teams’ supporters. Already, players who remove their shirts are shown a yellow card – perhaps referees can also pay attention to celebrations. Some do but others like the referee in the Dover game turn a blind eye. Maybe policing and stewarding need to be more orientated towards home supporters rather than away fans. And police and stewards could intervene with players when they feel they are over stepping the mark. The FA would no doubt throw their arms up in horror at authority being taken away from referees but that’s their problem and they can lump it.
"Pools were quick to implement damage limitation and we can only hope that the FA and National League deal with the club in a lenient fashion."

A lot of the problems in the Dover game did, of course, arise out of inept refereeing and there were suggestions that both the Pools and Dover officials met with the assessor after the game. At least both clubs were united in identifying what is becoming a real problem in the National League. Remember, other clubs will be affected as well so let’s have an Extraordinary Meeting of the National League to get things sorted out.

Still, when we come to play Dover on 4th January 2020, Brexit will probably be in full swing and the lorries will be queuing up to get into the port and that might mess things up for the Pools coach. Let us hope that time will be a great healer.

Pools were lethargic against Chesterfield and I’m sure that the events of the previous few days had an effect on the players. We seem to take one step forward and one step back these days but the play-off places are still within sight.

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