One-way traffic - but the scoreline didn’t reflect it

The headline that said it all.
The headline that said it all.

There are times when it just won’t quite go for you.

Unbelievably, Pools were only one up at half time of this away day when there would have been no complaints if they had put six on the first half scoresheet.

Bob Newton who converted a chance to break the deadlock.

Bob Newton who converted a chance to break the deadlock.

They could have been 1-0 up on 35 seconds when Hampton latched on to a weak back pass, rounded the keeper and could only hit the side netting from a tough angle.

On two minutes, John Bird had a powerful header from a free kick and on four minutes, Houchen crossed for Hampton to just miss out in a goalmouth scramble.

With only seven minutes gone, Linacre set up Hampton and his shot was just wide from 25 yards.

A fifth chance for Pools came on the ten minute mark when Harding sent Hampton in, only to see the shot saved by Aldershot goalkeeper Johnson’s feet.

They had so many chances in the first half that it was almost unbelievable, yet it was just as amazing that they missed them all until a minute before the break

Mail reporter

Pools keeper Burleigh was called into action on 13 minutes when he pulled off a fine save under his bar from Jopling.

Then it was Pools turn to attack again on 14 minutes. Keith Houchen’s effort was goalbound until it hit Newton and went wide.

Linacre then crossed to the near post where Hampton hammered a shot into the side netting.

Next, it was Hampton’s turn to become the provider for Houchen and a flashing header beat the keeper but went just wide of the far post.

The chances were coming thick and fast but Pools just weren’t putting them away, until the 45th minute that is.

Bob Newton got the opener in what was described by our reporter at the time as “his easiest goal of the season.”

He was there to run the ball over the line from a free kick featuring Houchen and Johnson.

The second half, which could hardly have matched what had gone before, was a more quiet affair.

Aldershot, though, seemed more determined. Despite all their increased endeavour, it was Pools who had the first real chance of the second half when Houchen pulled a ball back for Harding on 55 minutes. The ball spun wide of the post.

Houchen and Newton both went close soon after, yet the game was becoming a lot more evenly contested.

And just as Aldershot were getting to enjoy their best period of the match, Pools went 2-0 up on 72 minutes.

A high ball down the right from Harding appeared to be covered by Scott but John Linacre nipped in, beat two defenders and sent a low curling shot wide of the keeper.

Pools were in control - and then paid for a period of living dangerously.

A cross to the far post saw the Aldershot player Sandford arrive unmarked and head towards goal. It was blocked on the line but Sandford was there to bundle the follow-up into the net.

An avalanche of Aldershot attacks saw them go close without scoring and Pools hung on for a 2-1 win.

Hartlepool: Burleigh, Brown, Stimpson, Harding, Bird, Linighan, J.Linacre, Newton, Hampton, Houchen, P. Linacre. Sub: Hogan.

Aldershot: Johnson, Edwards, Scott, Biley, Bennett, Jopling, Lucas, Crosby, Garwood, Sansford, McGregor. Sub: French.

Referee: AG Milford, Bristol.

Attendance: 2,658.