Pools (Not Quite) Up for the Cup

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Brackley Town 0 (FA Cup)
Saturday 19 October 2019
Victoria Park

Tony Sweeney, the stand in manager, got his first taste of cup football today in the Pools hot seat. 

It was a tough game for Pools as the unknown quantity of the visitors, Brackley Town, came to make a game it and to be honest they almost pulled off the big prize. They were no slouches and played some very impressive football against a lacklustre Pools side. 

I have never seen so many Pools players robbed of the ball when they were in their stride; a Brackley player would appear from nowhere and steal the ball as if Pools were not there. If we had got an early a goal, I think this could have been a decent game to watch but we were on our toes from the first whistle to the ninety seventh minute.

Brackley were slick operators who never let up throughout the game. At first I thought they were a bunch of lads just having a go and putting in all the flicks and tricks and getting away with it, but honestly for most of the game they looked a better side than Pools.

Killip had a good game and it was just as well as they threatened us continually and we lost our way in front of some staunch defending. Second half saw Pools with a bit more purpose but after a near miss Pools were once again on the back foot in their own box as the visitors, playing some clever passing football, almost took the lead but the shot was blocked on the line and cleared at the third attempt. Killip watched a ball bounce off his bar before making a last gasp save to keep out the visitors.

Pools had to lift their game and Mafuta had a shot blocked. Pools went ahead after pressing them a little and won a free kick on the edge of the box. Featherstone found Donaldson free in the box and he scored the winner with a low shot past the keeper. A comment from the Ditchburn, who should remain nameless, was "Are Pools actually going to claim that goal after being outclassed for sixty minutes?" He never even applauded the goal.
"OK, we are in the hat but it was not a very impressive start to this season's cup run"

We got a lucky break when their highly-rated striker had to go off after accidentally getting a kick on the head from a Donaldson challenge; it was no foul as the lad dived in and Donaldson went over him catching him on the head with a boot and the player looked spark out. He did try to come back on but because of the concussion the ref sent him to the bench. The seven minutes added only piled on the stress and Pools started running the ball into the corner. Pools won a corner and there were only four Pools players in the visitors' half, which was sad to see.

OK, we are in the hat but it was not a very impressive start to this season's cup run so I would be hoping for a possible bye in the next round and a big draw later.

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