All to Play for


With our unbeaten run coming to an end on Monday it has to be said it is something that could have been avoided.

Having to play two games in three days with a Saturday evening kick-off and a Monday afternoon one with a journey to London sandwiched in between was not an ideal scenario. Indeed after the Saturday game manager Dave Challinor promised changes but when push came to shove he replaced striker Rhys Oates with loanee Harvey Saunders and the injured Lewis Cass with our beloved captain Ryan Donaldson. Hardly wholesale changes!

The sense of dread when it was announced that Donaldson would return to the team was fully justified and of course our unbeaten run was no more.

The fact that our captain was off the field changing his boots when the winning goal was scored in an attack down the flank where he should have been says it all. Surely he had been out warming up on the pitch before kick-off and was able to decide what boots to wear.

The midfield Challinor selected was abysmal with Xavi even more lethargic than usual. Whatever anyone thinks of Xavi he is certainly not up to two matches in three days. He is simply not fit enough. Holohan was anonymous and Shelton ran around a lot to no avail.
"The fact that our captain was off the field changing his boots when the winning goal was scored in an attack down the flank where he should have been says it all."

This game was crying out for Tom White, Luke Molyneux and Luke Williams to start in midfield to give us some more energy and guile and Challinor certainly missed a trick in not starting the three of them.

An unfortunate injury to goalkeeper Ben Killip has given an opportunity for Henrich Ravas to stake his claim. He won't let the side down and many argue he is be best keeper at the club anyway. We have also brought in Brad James from Boro as cover and we still have Rhys Oates who I am sure would fancy another crack in goal.

Although the top spot now appears to be out of reach the second and third spots are certainly up for grabs and with Pools to visit Sutton it is still all to play for.

It is a shame that Richie Bennett has returned to Stockport as he was a big success while he was with us. He could have been the man to fire us into the Football League. Let's just hope he doesn't do it for Stockport at our expense.

It is certainly a change to be looking at things happening at the top end of the table after ten years of failure and scrambling around at the bottom. We have Raj Singh and Dave Challinor and his staff to thank for this after the Ken Hodcroft years of Secret Society dealings and keeping fans in the dark. And then selling the club to a bunch of shysters not once but twice.

I see Boris Johnson made an appearance at Victoria Park last week in the run-up to the by-election. I am writing this prior to the vote with the bookies making the Conservatives favourites to take the seat. It has been a long time since we had a Tory MP in the town and maybe this is going to be a period of change culminating in a return to the Football League for our beloved club. Come on you Pools!

Front Page