Pools hit the spot thanks to yet another penalty

Dean Gibb evades a double challenge.
Dean Gibb evades a double challenge.

Alan Shoulder was enjoying a rich vein of form going into this match.

He was banging in goals, albeit many of them were from penalties thanks to an incredible string of spot kicks.

Tony Smith helps the Pools attack.

Tony Smith helps the Pools attack.

Yet even though Pools were on a run of penalties, it was merely just reward for their hard work and determination and it was helping them steer to safety from relegation.

Pools went into this game against a Southend team which was chasing promotion.

But the outstanding performance came from the home side, especially in the second half after a goalless first 45 minutes which was livened up when Dean Gibb endeared himself to the crowd by firing in a dangerous shot which whistled just wide of the goal.

But it was in the second 45 minutes that Pools came into their own.

As the game wore on, the home side became more and more dominant, putting some fine attacking moves together

Hartlepool Mail reporter, 1983

First, they nullified the threat from visiting striker Richard Cadette who was one of the most prolific scorers in the Fourth Division.

He was marked out of the game and ultimately substituted.

Then, Alan Shoulder nipped in on a back pass from Westley and pushed the ball around Stannard but could not keep his feet to finish the move.

The Mail reporter at the time said: “As the game wore on, the home side became more and more dominant, putting some fine attacking moves together.

“The best came after a series of quick passes that opened up the Southend defence and gave Kevin Dixon a great chance only to fire his shot onto the bar and over the top.”

Dean Gibb went close with an effort which the Mail reporter at the time described as “Cruyff-style.”

Southend only briefly threatened when substitute Gymer evaded McKinnon to cut in on the Pools goal but his pull back could not be turned in to Eddie Blackburn’s goal.

The Pools goal came when Tony Barratt sent over a cross towards Dean Gibb. As he rose for the header, Danny O’Shea hand balled and referee Gilbert Napthine had no option but to point to the spot.

Shoulder stepped up to score the penalty which was Pools fifth in six games.

Hartlepool United: Blackburn, Barratt, McKinnon, McLean, Smith, Nobbs, Toman, Shoulder, Gibb, Dixon, Walker. Sub; Hogan.

Southend: Stannard, Roberts, Johnson, O’Shea, Westley, Hall, Clark, Pennyfather, Cadette, McDonough, Rogers. Sub; Gymer.

Attendance; 1,323.