ONSIDE: Pools paying the penalty

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OUTPASSED and outclassed.

That just about sums up Hartlepool United’s miserable defeat to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side, which continued the horrendous run of form at Victoria Park.

Seven defeats on the trot and six consecutive home games in which Pools have conceded a penalty.

It is beyond a joke.

But it has reached the stage where fans on the terraces were even joking and having bets over which minute we would give away a penalty.

And when it happened there was a depressing sense of inevitability about it.

John Hughes’ men continue to shoot themselves in the foot at home and the performances are now being reflected on the terraces with just 2,500 fans turning out on Tuesday night.

Pools made Bournemouth look like world beaters at times and while they are undoubtedly a good footballing side, our players simply stood off them for large parts of the game and let them control proceedings.

You could be forgiven for forgetting we are bottom of the league with just 13 points from 27 games given the lack of urgency and closing down, in the second half especially.

Away from home, the past couple of performances have been fairly positive with renewed hope that Pools could yet survive - but then comes another home game and another defeat.

Time is running out - as are the excuses -and Pools fans are keen to see a summer clear-out and a fresh start.

This week also saw the end of Paul Murray’s career at Pools and his departure was met with heavy hearts from fans.

He hadn’t been playing in recent weeks and it gives Hughes the chance to free up a wage and bring in a fresh face, but there were many angry at his exit.

Murray was player of the year last season and when he played Pools would generally pick up points, something we have been severely lacking this season.

Good luck Muzza.

- Richard Mennear

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