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From the website Poolie Bunker:

 

We got what we expected and deserved in many ways. Oldham passed the ball around well and looked a class above, it was only a surprise that they didn't score more than they did as they didn't actually create that many shooting opportunities.... they didn't need to though and were well worth the victory.

 

Pools though certainly didn't help themselves. Too often we were standing off and failing to get challenges in - the boys in blue were allowed to pass it around quite happily until they got close to the edge of the box.... Nelson and Collins did OK, Humphreys wasn't bad, McCunnie stood off too much but really it was the lack of a foot in from the midfield that caused a lot of the trouble. When you've got Clark and Liddle in the middle, you expect more bite than we saw tonight.

 

Matters weren't helped by a front two that were about as lightweight as helium balloons. Whenever we tried to clear our lines it invariably came straight back at us as Foley and Mackay failed to win the ball or if they did, hold onto it.

 

Let me say here that I am not necessarily criticising Foley here. He tried hard enough, but he was never going to win aerial balls against someone a foot taller, and had to resort to the odd little push to even try and win the ball - this does not mean he's at fault, it means he's being asked to play a role that he just doesn't have the physical assets for.

 

Mackay on the other hand was significantly more culpable IMO. He at least has a bit more height, but any ideas that he might lead the line were misplaced. He ran about a bit, but his impact on the game was negligable. Foley at least tried to find space, and when he did have the ball at his feet tried to do something with it...

 

The first goal was farcical; a ball in from our left found Hughes with so much time in the box that he could have gone for a cup of tea and still had time to fire home before anyone got close to him. A defensive error, but whether you blame the central defenders or ALB I don't know (possibly the defenders....) It says something that at one point Collins was getting ready to head the ball out as a cross came in, despite the fact that ALB was already jumping to collect it.

 

Watching Foley against the Oldham defence was a farce. Inevitably the ball was too high over his head for him to even get close, and by the middle of the first half I was almost laughing whenever it happened - it was a bit like a small yappy dog hoping to fell an elephant. Again, not necessarily his fault - he can hardly wear platform boots - but Pools seemed to lack the sort of passing and vision to give him the sort of ball that he could do something about.

 

The only surprise with the second Oldham goal was how long it took to arrive (decent strike too), and at this point it really did look like how many would it be. Then Turner did what the travelling fans had been calling for since half time if not earlier - he brought Monkhouse on up front (for Foley, although Mackay had been if anything more anonymous). It seemed that within seconds we'd pulled one back - Monky collecting the ball in midfield, shielding it for a second and then sending Robson away down the left, a decent cross, own goal but hey, we're back in it - and all of sudden we were a different side.

 

Don't get me wrong, we didn't look a good side, but we actually started putting tackles in in the midfield, acting like we cared, and like we might just snatch something with a bit of luck. Oldham were still the side looking more dangerous and more skillful, but there was just a touch of "you never know....". Monky put himself about a bit, didn't look the definitive answer up front but at least asked a few more questions of the Oldham defence which up to then might as well have taken the night off. By Full Time, I at least felt that we'd made Oldham work a bit for a win that they seemed to be strolling to for two thirds of the game.

 

With the strikeforce currently at our disposal, we will probably struggle for the rest of the season and for that reason it is essential that we sign a striker, preferably with some experience. If Joel is going to be carrying injuries or - heaven forbid - unavailable for any length of time then calling our attack powderpuff is an insult to powderpuffs everywhere. It reached the point that until Monkhouse came on, there was actually no point in someone putting a cross in the box. You got the feeling that the midfielders in particular knew this, and were on a damage limitation exercise for much of the evening. Barrett made one or two decent stops, but the defence clearly don't trust him and that leads only one way too.

Edited by LaticsPete
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