A glimpse of Eifion but two Pools stars stole this 2000 show

Paul Stephenson fires Pools ahead against Torquay United.
Paul Stephenson fires Pools ahead against Torquay United.

A new teenage forward featured in the Pools front line – while a well-known Pools target was playing for the opposition.

But it was Hartlepool United who came out on top in this 2000 clash with Torquay United at Victoria Park to keep them in contention for promotion.

Eifion Williams.

Eifion Williams.

James Coppinger was playing for Pools after he was loaned from Newcastle United.

Eifion Williams was lining up for Torquay but it was Coppinger who went close with two early chances.

The 19-year-old’s first opportunity came when Tommy Miller put him through but his shot whistled across the face of the Rink End goal. It was the same result just minutes later after a slick Pools move, with Ian Clark just failing to connect at the far post.

But Pools did get the scoresheet moving on 10 minutes when Clark’s cross was headed out, only for Paul Stephenson to slam it into the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards.

Pools had the upper hand throughout the first half with Torquay making several mistakes, losing possession in midfield on several occasions

Hartlepool Mail reporter, 2000

After that, Eifion Williams showed why Pools wanted to sign him when he danced round the home defence before putting over a dangerous cross.

The Mail reporter at the time said: “Pools had the upper hand throughout the first half with Torquay making several mistakes, losing possession in midfield on several occasions.”

Williams was told in no uncertain terms, by the supporters in the Mill House section, that he should be playing for Pools when they shouted that the beach was much better up here.

In the meantime, Hartlepool were doing their best to extend their lead and Tommy Miller went close with a shot which had to be palmed out by Jones.

The second half continued in the same fashion as the first with Pools on the attack.

And although they struggled to find the net, there was little threat from Torquay going forward.

Lee and Coppinger both tried to make it 2-0 and it was Lee who finally got the clincher on 77 minutes. Fitzpatrick weaved his way through the visitors defence before passing to Lee who shot past the advancing Jones.

The goalscorer went close numerous times after that, the best of which was a screamer which only just cleared the bar.

In injury time, the same person had a cheeky chance to make it three but his lob from the halfway line failed to find the net.

In the end, as our reporter said at the time, “two goals were enough to continue the promotion push”.