A great goal, a fine goalkeeping performance and a new hero for Pools to admire

Tinkler and Allon help Tony Barratt celebrate his goal.
Tinkler and Allon help Tony Barratt celebrate his goal.

A fine Pools performance brought two milestones for the Victoria Park faithful in October 1988.

They saw the first goal from a Hartlepool team in 273 minutes when Tony Barratt got on the scoresheet.

Hartlepool United striker Joe Allon.

Hartlepool United striker Joe Allon.

And it also brought an end to a run of six consecutive defeats for the team.

Yet having said all that, the crowd was left at the end to wonder if it could have been much more. After all, the team’s display probably deserved the three points.

The Hartlepool Mail reporter at the time said: “For once, Pools did not start at 100 miles per hour and run out of steam before half time. They played much more controlled football.”

And it worked as Pools looked much more dangerous in possession against a Hereford United side which boasted a well-marshalled defence.

For once, Pools did not start at 100 miles per hour and run out of steam before half time. They played much more controlled football

Mail reporter, October 1988

The game started with a scruffy first 20 minutes although two Pools new boys were making their mark. Carl Muggleton in goal was giving his defence confidence with the way he was handling high balls.

And Joe Allon was leading the line well with “deft flicks and passes” which were encouraging Andy Toman, Paul Baker and Brian Honour to push forward.

After half an hour, Pools were starting to get on top and a Toman cross was only narrowly headed over by Allon.

Allon went closer again with a fierce shot minutes later and the pressure finally paid off just five minutes before half time.

Allon found Toman on the left wing and he laid the ball into the path of McKinnon. His first-time cross picked out Barratt at the far post and he drove the ball home from six yards.

It was the first time that Pools had taken the lead since an away match at Tranmere a month earlier.

And after the break, the home side seemed keen for more with Baker going closer with three efforts - a chip, shot and a header.

But despite all the pressure, it was one lapse in concentration which led to the equaliser. Stant was out near the corner flag when he turned and accurately crossed for Norbett whose shot just crept inside Muggleton’s post.

Both sides pressed for a winner but fine goalkeeping kept it at 1-1.

Hartlepool: Muggleton, Barratt, McKinnon, Tinkler, Smith, Stokes, Honour, Toman, Allon, Baker, Haigh. Subs; Grayson, Doig.

Hereford: Rose, M Jones, Crane, R Jones, Stevens, Benbow, Mardenborough, Narbett, Stant, Tester, McLoughlin. Subs Williams, Boyer.

Referee: Mr M Peck (Kendal).