Match of the Day: Hartlepool United lose a “game of two halves” against Scunthorpe in March 1997

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THIS really was a game of two halves.

The first was badly hampered by gale force winds. The second was destroyed by them yet two teams tried to make the best of it.

Hartlepool United boss Mick Tait made two changes to the team beaten 2-0 at Cardiff City the previous week. In came striker Joe Allon to partner Stephen Halliday up front after a freak training ground injury the previous Friday.

Player-manager Tait relegated himself to the bench for midfielder Chris Beech. Our reporter said: “Both sides lined up on a sunny afternoon knowing that the strong wind swirling around would make for something of a lottery in the 90 minutes to come.”

Scunthorpe took a 13th minute lead when Kona Hislop tried to shepherd the ball out for a throw-in but only put Walsh in the clear. The full-back’s cross was cut out by Bradley but when Housham squared it to Eyre, he thumped it into the back of the net even though he was still limping from an earlier clash with McGuckin.

Scunthorpe’s celebrations were almost cut short a minute later. Sean McAuley’s corner kick was met by Graeme Lee at the far post but his header rebounded off the woodwork.

Both sides lined up on a sunny afternoon knowing that the strong wind swirling around would make for something of a lottery in the 90 minutes to come.

Mail reporter

After that, Pools never exerted any real control and any hopes that halftime may change things, didn’t materialise.

The teams came out in the second half to even stronger winds and Scunthorpe were only prevented from going even further ahead when a Wilson shot was only carried wide by the strength of the wind.

Pools last hope came in an 89th minute free kick but Graeme Lee’s attempts to head for goal were foiled by Clarke.

l Pools: O’Connor, Ingram, McAuley (capt), Bradley, Lee, McGuckin, Allon, Cooper, Beech, Halliday, Hislop. Subs: Elliott, Tait, Clegg. Att: 1,300.