Odd line up. Ginnelly the only player to survive from Tuesday, Green who seemed to have a better game didn’t even make the bench. Don’t think Harris at right-back ideal. 3 defensive players and Magan on the bench. Scott Davies starts, just hope he finishes....
Good question. Not seen any mention of injury.
Debatable penalty sees Rovers behind. We’d had a couple of good chances one saved by the keeper from Norwood the other missed by Ginnelly, but haven’t played well. Pools have kept hold of the ball better than Rovers. Need to pick things up a bit.
Fylde grab the last place by holding out at Wrexham. Sutton beat Aldershot to join us in the semis. So, we play at home to the winners of Aldershot v Ebbsfleet. If we win, we play Sutton, Boreham Wood or Fylde at Wembley. Can't wait.
There was always a danger we would get a performance like that today. The players did not know whether to stick or twist. There was no conviction in the display, with everybody half a yard off the pace and clearly trying to avoid injury or suspension. Even so, it was depressing to watch and we go into the play-offs on a bit of a downer. Hopefully there won't be any knock-on effect for next week's game.
In the first half I thought we played some decent football at times and did not deserve to go in a goal behind. The penalty decision could have been made by one of the Hartlepool fans in fancy dress. In the second half we got completely bogged and down and our play was very disjointed.
Individually, I thought Norburn had a good first half but faded in the second and Ginnelly had an up and down game, some good things and some bad. The front two had generally poor service but did not click as in recent weeks. Man of the match was Jay Harris, who filled in well at right back.
Hopefully Jennings and Buxton will be back next week and we will see a rather different performance.
If I didn’t have a season ticket I wouldn’t pay to see these games as the players are just out there jogging around making sure they don’t pick up any injuries. We only starting attacking with 20 mins to go.
Anyway, onto the playoffs we go.. I’d like to a avoid Aldershot and Fylde but let’s just hope for a much improved performance next week.
At least no-one was booked or (I assume) injured today. However, we will still be two or three short of a full-strength team for the play-offs but at least that's a lot better than the eight first-teamers missing at Wembley last year.
Think there were certain elements of our play today which were a worry, in particular an inability to keep hold of the ball, something which a ordinary Pools side were fairly good at. Norburn shows flashes of brilliance, but too often surrenders possession or tries optimistic long-range efforts which rarely trouble their keeper. Hughes, great free-kick and some good defence-splitting balls, but caught in possession on a couple of occasions. Ginnelly started incredibly slowly, but did start to improve. Cole had a poor game, one or two good touches in the first half, but anonymous after h/t. There was one moment when Norwood dribbled all the way across the penalty box and Cole hardly moved, making it impossible for him to get the ball.
I'd agree with Harris as MoM,the only player who came close was Norwood, who kept battling away. However, I'm still not convinced he's the best of the options at right-back, if we're without Buxton, as seems likely, Jay at right-back is a very defensive player. I was surprised MM didn't try other changes, looked like Clarke was going to come on for Cook, but it didn't happen and Cook reported to have an injured toe.