That’s more like it Pools! The day they won for the first time in the 1976/77 season

An aerial battle for Pools in this 1976 home game with Rochdale.

An aerial battle for Pools in this 1976 home game with Rochdale.

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It took a while in coming but it was worth the wait.

Pools brought their 1976 duck by recording their first win of the season at home to Rochdale.

John Rowlands in action.

John Rowlands in action.

Caretaker manager Billy Horner reckoned one player had made a huge difference to the set-up.

New arrival Peter Creamer had looked good in defence and had also made a number of impressive overlapping runs.

It prompted the manager to say at the time: “This is the sort of player we need to help the club get out of trouble.”

Creamer had only just arrived the previous week in a £5,000 move from Doncaster. If Pools could add a midfielder who could put his foot on the ball and take a bit of control, life would look a lot rosier, said the manager.

I was over the moon with the result and the way the lads fought hard for 90 minutes. It’s the first time they have done that this season

Billy Horner, 1976

But Peter Creamer wasn’t a one-man show in this win.

Hugh Reed, Bobby Scaife and big Bobby Scott won the plaudits as well in this fine 2-0 win in Division Four.

Billy Horner said: “I was over the moon with the result and the way the lads fought hard for 90 minutes. It’s the first time they have done that this season.”

The Mail’s reporter described the match as Rochdale being on top for the first half. In fact, to say they dominated was “an understatement,” he added.

“In this spell,” he added, “the game promised to be another home shocker for Hartlepool.

“Their passing was bad, the defence looked all at sea and Rochdale goalkpeer Mick Poole had nothing to do for 45 minutes, not a single save to make, or even attempt.”

But the second half was a different story for Pools once they got over an early scare when Steve Melledew hit the post.

On 61 minutes, a six-man move culminated with Creamer who did a neat one-two with Reed, and then crossed for Scaife who half volleyed into the net from close range.

More scares followed for Pools before Paul Bielby earned a penalty two minutes into injury time. he broke into the box and was brought down by Poole as he tried to round the keeper.

Reed had no problem converting the kick.

Our reporter added: “It was a massive relief for Hartlepool to break their duck at last, but the biggest mistake they could possibly make now would be to think that their troubles are over. There is still a lot of work to be done.”.

Other stars in a hard-fought win included on-loan Dave Wiggett and triallist Reed who lacked height but didn’t lack fight.

He fought hard and ran for everything he could possibly get close to.