They came, they saw - and they were conquered.
A five-goal drubbing it might have been, but at least humble Pools didn’t lose their dignity to star-studded Spurs in the glamour clash on September 26, 1990.
“Pools may have left White Hart Lane with a 5-0 defeat, but players and fans alike could return home with heads held proudly high,” reported the Mail.
More than 2,000 supporters made their way to London to cheer on Pools in the first leg of the second round of the Rumbelows League Cup.
But despite fighting tooth and nail from the first whistle, the northerners went a goal down in just one minute and 54 seconds - courtesy of Gary Lineker.
And, if the odds weren’t already stacked against them, Pools were also on the receiving end of two dubious penalty decisions - one converted, one not.
Tottenham may be a multi-million pound outfit with talented players to match, but the men of the brave Pools team are the real heroesHartlpool Mail football report from September 1990.
“The difference in class was soon evident as Spurs quickly backed up their status as one of Europe’s premier club sides with solid action,” reported the Mail.
“Tottenham’s nostalgic airing of Nice One Cyril had barely been removed from the tape-deck before David Howells found Paul Stewart on the right wing.
“Stewart steamed un-stoppably forward and crossed to England skipper Lineker, who had the simple task of tapping home to open Tottenham’s account.
“Anyone in the plush North London stadium could have been forgiven for expecting something of a cricket score after that, as Tottenham’s speed was electric.
“But Pools retaliated with their best spell of the match; Joe Allon’s acrobatic close-range efforts tests the Spurs goalkeeper’s talents for the first time.”
Pools enjoyed several minutes of goal-mouth action, yet failed to hit home. Instead, Paul Gascoigne “skipped” through the defence to score in the 27th minute.
The second half saw Pools goalie Brian Cox save a penalty kick from Lineker, before Gazza rammed home goal number three for Spurs in the 75th minute.
A second penalty, this time taken by Gazza, hit home as well - and he calmly slotted home his fourth of the night just a few minutes later.
“Tottenham may be a multi-million pound outfit with talented players to match, but the men of the brave Pools team are the real heroes,” stated the Mail.
“The likes of Mick Smith, playing through the pain barrier, and Joe Allon, full of tireless endeavour, typified the gutsy determination of Cyril Knowles’ side.”
* More next week.