A "Proper" Cup-tie

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 1 Exeter City 0 (FA Cup, Round 2 replay)
Tuesday 10 December 2019
Victoria Park

It has been a long time since we could say we are up for the cup in the third round. Last night's win was justly deserved for the lads as they battled hard to edge out Exeter City in a tense, nervous game. Both teams were making mistakes and you could say it was a ‘proper’ cup tie as it was end to end from two teams who both lacked any class in front of goal.

The league two side looked confident and behaved like A*$)@!$ by turning us round at the start of the game. Don’tcha just hate it when they do that. The man in the middle was a league referee but to be fair he was not much better than the non-league versions we have got used to in our games. I was of the opinion he was giving too much leeway to the visitors and was very chatty with them, even giving one of them a pat on the bum after a discussion between them but hey ho, whatever rocks your boat.

During a blank spell the Ditchburn, who as we all know is the man in the know, reckoned that the reason we are having games like this is simple. We have not got a reserve team and we cannot accommodate our huge squad, so we should have a team in the Northern League as we need players playing at any level. You see, he does talk sense sometimes and I can agree with that idea.

Ex-Pools keeper Johnny Maxted was in goal for the visitors and he was shocking. He never played for Pools' first team and moved from the Vic to Guiseley. He's the only keeper I have seen this season kick the ball off the pitch more than Killip. Killip, to be fair, made a couple of decent saves to keep us in the tie but the tower of strength at the back was Raynes who should have had the Man-of-the-Match accolade but Featherstone seems to be the flavour of the month in that department, although he did have a canny game in a very competitive midfield battle. Luke James was Mr. 100% again and Mafuta and Touré were magnificent.

The second half saw a vast improvement from Pools and we were the better side, not giving the visitors an inch. Kabamba, Touré and Hawkes all had chances to win the game in the ninety minutes. Possibly Hawkes had the best chance inside the box but lashed his shot straight at the keeper.
"the tower of strength at the back was Raynes who should have had the Man-of-the-Match accolade but Featherstone seems to be the flavour of the month in that department"

Extra time had hardly got going when the Ditchburn had a hissy fit over not contacting his missus to tell her he would be late. I, being the decent chap that I am, offered him my mobile phone but he did not know how to use it and dithered for what seemed like ages and gave me it back, and as I closed the phone I looked up to see this ball wobbling towards the goal above the keeper’s head and into the side netting,

I missed the winning goal and had no idea what had gone on. Mrs. Ditchburn, if you are reading this, get the Ditchy a mobile and show the bugger how to use it or suffer the consequences that millions of wives do and just wait till he gets home to explain the rules of extra time. I had no idea if it was a shot or a cross that went wrong from Hawkes but still, I'm happy for the lad who got us into the next round of the cup.

It was downhill all the way now for Pools just to hang onto the ball but then the ref started to get involved. All through the game he never once blew for a foul throw until Pools were in the lead and he was still looking to give the league team an advantage. Exeter have a long-throw expert, a skinny kid who can hardly carry a ball, but not once was he pulled up when he had a foot on the pitch when throwing yet we get one chance and get pulled up. It was so blatant that the ref was even getting abuse from the press for his one-sided decisions.

We had a couple of chances to double the score but failed and Killip also made a fine block late in the game to win the tie.

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