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Club News

2017/18 Season Review: August

15 May 2018

Rhys Oates Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Rhys Oates is left gutted by defeat to Dover Athletic

We begin our look back on the past campaign with the first of our monthly reviews - and it's fair to say it wasn't the August that Pools fans had hoped for.

Pools roared in to the new campaign in good heart having enjoyed a summer of change and an encouraging series of results during pre-season.

Conor Newton’s arrival had taken Craig Harrison’s summer signings up to eight and the boss also moved to install Paul Jenkins as his Assistant Manager at Victoria Park.

In a bid to blend the new arrivals and create a spirit within the squad, Harrison organised a team-bonding session on the last day of July and the smiles on faces highlighted the anticipation ahead of the big kick-off.

However, any pre-season optimism was tempered on the opening day when Dover Athletic took all three points at The Vic thanks to Jamie Allen’s goal just before the half-hour mark.

Pools recovered with a decent point at Macclesfield Town three days later when Jake Cassidy was on target with his first goal as a useful draw was claimed at Moss Rose.

There was a trial by television in the next game as the trip to Maidenhead United was shown live on BT Sport – but Pools didn’t produce their best and were beaten 2-1 following a double from danger man Dave Tarpey.

Jeff Stelling confirmed his return as Honorary President ahead of the home game with Chester but, despite a powerful performance, Pools had to be content with a point from a 1-1 draw.

The Club did make waves online though with the introduction of a retro Championship Manager goal graphic which went viral when Cassidy scored the leveller for Pools.

Ahead of the weekend trip to Bromley, Craig Harrison went back in to the transfer market when Jonathan Franks was persuaded to sign a short-term deal following a spell training with the squad.

However, the attacker couldn’t help the team get a result at the weekend as Bromley ran out 2-0 winners and there was another blow later in the week when it was confirmed that Padraig Amond had sealed a move to Newport County.

With defensive errors blighting the opening month, Harrison turned to the loan market and brought in experienced defender Keith Watson from St Johnstone.

However, Watson wasn’t able to impact on the result that weekend as AFC Fylde took three points from their first visit to The Vic as Pools’ wait for a first win of the season continued.

The Bank Holiday Monday trip to Guiseley therefore took on extra significance and Pools managed to grind out three precious points, Franks notching his first goal since returning to set-off wild celebrations at Nethermoor Park.

Further defensive reinforcements arrived as the month drew to a close when Michael Ledger rubber-stamped his loan move from Sunderland and bolstered options for Harrison.

All-in-all, it hadn’t been the August many had hoped for or predicted but the victory at Guiseley had injected fresh confidence and it was hoped Pools could build on that during September.

Match Reports
Pools 0 Dover Athletic 1

Macclesfield Town 1 Pools 1
Maidenhead United 2 Pools 1
Pools 1 Chester 1
Bromley 2 Pools 0
Pools 0 AFC Fylde 2
Guiseley 0 Pools 1

National League Table


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