An Off Night


Match report by BILLY'S CONTRACT



Solihull 2 Pools 0 (National League)
Tuesday 01 December 2020
Damson Park



My concerns about Pools at the beginning of the season have not changed one iota, in that if they don't sign themselves a striker of sorts, they could miss out on a play-off spot. This has been highlighted not so much with the chances and half chances not being taken but that there is nobody in the box to take them. 

The manager's problem is 
the same throughout football with the possible exception of the Premiership, that every club wants a regular goal scorer and to have the funds to pay for one. Neither of which Hartlepool United have at the moment. 

At present we haven't got a forward of note who is capable of netting regularly either because they are still learning their trade or are lacking in confidence or both. Ahead of the Solihull match we signed six foot five Joe Bunney, a Peter Crouch look-alike, on a short-term loan. Bunney started his career as a forward and later became a left back, so could be classed as what is known as a utility player.

I presume that Dave Challinor will want him to take up his old duties and play up front. I can see the logic of this; putting someone up front with his height will give options not only in attack but defending corners as well.
"when the ball was pushed forward there was no one to receive it or worse still, no one to hold on to it."

To accommodate Bunney the question is: will Pools change their fluent style of football going forward and keeping the ball on the deck or will we resort to the long ball? Either way, someone needs to be getting on to the end of David Ferguson crosses.

Corners is another area were we are weak. Pools average ten corners a game and and to the best of my limited knowledge we have never scored directly from any of them. Invariably the ball is cleared. With a wee bit of luck this could all change with a 'Bunney in the box.'

Excuse me breaking off as I am going to set up the streaming service for the Solihull game. I am predicting a one all draw. 

Later...

Well, I wasn't expecting that. Not so much of the 'Bunney in the box' but the 'funny on the box'. I am of course referring to the referee. Just when I was beginning to think that the standard of refereeing was starting to improve in this dreadful league, this fella proved me wrong. Well before Odusina was sent off, the Solihull match commentator noted that the man in the middle was losing control of the match. He was the worst type of referee that there is, which is one who is equally bad for both sides.

The game had draw written all over it and much like the game at Barnet there was little or no goalmouth action. The dynamic of the game was changed once Odusina got his marching orders. Pools then sat back wanting to play on the break but this did not happen until the last ten minutes of the match, mainly because Pools played too deep and when the ball was pushed forward there was no one to receive it or worse still, no one to hold on to it.

Had Ferguson not been injured, with Bunney taking his place, it might have been a different game with the Bolton loanee playing up front. Who knows?

As it is the time of year to be kind to your fellow man, I am not naming names but if I hadn't seen the team sheet beforehand, there was one player I didn't realise was playing until the 66th minute.

It really must be a frustrating time for the manager.

The only plus of the match was that Solihull charged only £7.50 for the streaming service.

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