Brian Drysdale hit an absolute corker for Pools in this one-sided affair.
In fact, it was so dominated by the home team, it prompted the Hartlepool Mail sports reporter Sentinel to comment: “On a cold night, a warming breeze of confidence gathered to almost a hurricane by the call of time.”
Fine words and it accurately summed up a game which ranked as many people’s favourite in the 1969 season. Sentinel even counted Northampton as fortunate because it could have been 6-0 to Pools.
It was Hartlepool’s biggest scoreline since entering the third division, having been promoted the previous campaign.
Pools were on a relatively decent run of form, having picked up points in six of the seven previous games. Yet at the very start of this match, it looked like Northampton might give them a match.
Two timely interventions from Alan Goad on the 12th minute prevented Hatton and then Robert from scoring.
John Sheridan stroked the ball across the field and Drysdale hit a corker from close on 35 yards. It dipped and swerved alternately like a Battersea Park firework and goalkeeper Roger Barron looked chained to his line as the ball bombed into the net off the underside of the crossbar. It must rank as one of the most spectacular goals scored at the Victoria GroundMail sports reporter Sentinel
Two minutes later, Northampton had a glaring miss when Roberts picked up a clearance from his keeper and sent Felton away on the left. He squared the ball to unmarked Neal who tried to place his shot, but it smacked off the crossbar.
For Pools, Tony Parry went close with a shot into the side netting before Thompson opened the account for the home team, heading in a perfect Bircumshaw cross on 24 minutes.
Terry Bell doubled the lead three minutes after the break when he slotted in from close range after the Northampton keeper stopped a Young shot, only for it to rebound to Bell who made no mistake.
Then came Drysdale’s net-ripper which was best described in Sentinel’s match report.
“John Sheridan stroked the ball across the field and Drysdale hit a corker from close on 35 yards. It dipped and swerved alternately like a Battersea Park firework and goalkeeper Roger Barron looked chained to his line as the ball bombed into the net off the underside of the crossbar. It must rank as one of the most spectacular goals scored at the Victoria Ground.”
Hartlepool: Smith, Bircumshaw, Drsydale, Sheridan, Gill, Goad, Parry, Blowman, Thompson, Bell, Young. Sub: Cummings.
Northampton: Barron, Clarke, Fairfax, Townsend, Rankmore, Flowers, Felton, Neal, Hatton, Roberts, Knox. Sub: Brown.
Referee: K. Styles (Barnsley).