Pools celebrate 2-1 victory with a Beech party

Hartlepool United striker Joe Allon in action back in 1997.
Hartlepool United striker Joe Allon in action back in 1997.

Chris Beech was so determined to get on the score-sheet in a game against Shrewsbury Town that he “let everyone know about it” in the Mail.

Indeed, after defender Graeme Lee was given credit for Hartlepool’s 70th minute opener on December 6, 1997, Beech decided to try and set the record straight.

“I have missed out on goals in the past because someone else has been given the credit,” Beech told the Mail as Pools gained their first win in three games.

“It was a great header by Graeme, but I nodded it into the net,” the midfielder added. “It’s great to get back to winning ways.

“A few of us have been suffering from flu, and were determined to finish the game in normal time. It would have been hard to keep going in extra time.”

The game against Shrewsbury, in the first round of the Northern Section Auto Windscreens Shield tie, was seen as an important step towards Wembley glory.

And, in the end, it was Beech’s determination to get a goal which helped Pools secure victory against a tricky, but stale, Shrewsbury in a low-key game.

“Town came out very strongly, while Pools were forced to defend vigorously,” reported the Mail. “But Pools did not give up and played with flowing moves.”

Indeed, Norwegian international Jan Ove Pedersen tried to get Pools off to a great start with a long-range effort after just 19 seconds.

It was easily held off, however, by Shrewsbury keeper Paul Edwards - leading to a fight for the ball, with Pools forcing the first corner after two minutes.

But, when Richard Lucas’s cross came in, Pedersen’s shot was blocked and Graeme Lee smashed the loose ball high over the bar.

“Pool started confidently, with Howard proving a nuisance for the home side. Indeed, he was unlucky to be denied the game’s opening goal,” stated the Mail.

“But it was not until the second half that any goals were scored. The small crowd of 1,130 became increasingly frustrated by the lack of shots on target.”

Finally, Pools opened the scoring unexpectedly in the 70th minute, when Lee rose high to head on a corner by Lucas and Beech nudged it into the net.

The goal was met by a stunned silence from the Shrewsbury crowd but, just a few minutes later, they were all cheers when Steele bundled home for the Town.

Pools did not, however, give up and - with just five minutes to go - Pedersen coolly slotted home a superb pass by Cullen to secure a 2-1 victory.