Match of the Day: Hartlepool’s January blues against Oldham

Former Hartlepool United manager Chris Turner
Former Hartlepool United manager Chris Turner

ounds familiar doesn’t it? Back in January 2009, Chris Turner was desperately trying to secure a striker to bolster his attacking options and they were made to pay for their lack of cutting edge away to Oldham Athletic.

Oldham 2 Pools 1. January 2009

Oldham 2 Pools 1. January 2009

Goals from Lee Hughes and Deane Smalley were enough to secure all three points at Oldham’s Boundary Park for the home side.

Playing for the Latics that day was Dean Windass, who Turner had been trying to sign all week only for the experienced frontman to instead opt for Oldham who were in the automatic promotion hunt.

Instead, Turner was left to reflect on a defeat at Oldham and the need to bring in another striker to add to his threadbare options.

Turner told SportMail: “I though we looked solid but it’s like fighting flames. We get the team solid and strong and then we haven’t got our regular strikers in.

“It doesn’t matter what standard of football you play at, your strike force determines how well you are going to do.

“We need that quality up front.”

Meanwhile, Jamie McCunnie was also left bemoaning the inability to cause problems in Oldham’s final third.

McCunnie said: “If we had got at them we might have caused them a few problems. David Foley and Michael Mackay came in and maybe it’s different if they are playing up front with an experienced striker. Michael is older but it is hard for them because they have not played regular football before.”

Pools goal came in the 67th minute through a Kelvin Lomax own goal.

Pools: Lee-Barrett, McCunnie, Nelson, Collins, Humphreys, Jones (Rowell), Clark, Liddle, Robson, Mackay, Foley (Monkhouse). Subs Not Used: Budtz, Power, Tymon. Attendance: 4,211.

Also in the news:

Matthew Hayden announced his retirement from international cricket.

The 37-year-old made his decision public at a press conference in Brisbane. Hayden played 103 tests, scoring 8,625 runs at an average of 50.73 over his Test career.

•Tony Pulis hoped James Beattie would provide the firepower needed to keep Stoke in the Premier League after finally capturing his man.

The 30-year-old ended days of speculation by putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal to complete his move from Sheffield United.

He was Pulis’ second signing following the arrival of Matthew Etherington.

•James DeGale was convinced his professional debut the following month would be the launchpad for a “new dream” - to become the first British Olympic champion to win a world title.

DeGale began his professional career alongside fellow Olympian Billy Joe Saunders and 2007 world amateur champion Frankie Gavin at the NIA in Birmingham.

Londoner DeGale said: “My first aim was to become an Olympian and the second aim is to become a professional world champion.”

•Elsewhere in the region, Joe Kinnear insisted the FA Cup had his player’s full attention as they prepared to take on Hull City for a place in the competition’s fifth round.

Kinnear said: “The cup, to some, is a competition that can have a draining effect on your squad , which we know all about, but it is one we are looking forward to.”

•Hartlepool golfer Graeme Storm outlined his ambition for 2009 - to get a second European Tour title under his belt. The 2007 French Open champion said it was of “paramount importance” to build on that win.