A rising teenage star shone for Pools in this 1970s away-day thriller

Ken Hale was delighted with the performance of Pools at Southport in 1975.
Ken Hale was delighted with the performance of Pools at Southport in 1975.

It was a series of firsts for Pools when they stormed to victory at Southport in 1975.

It was their first league win of the season even though it was the middle of September when they won 4-2.

What pleased me more than anything else was we went flat out for the full 90 minutes, each player doing his job properly. The strikers had a go taking on their defence, in midfield we worked hard, and in defence we did very well

Ken Hale, 1975

It was also the first time Pools had put together any sort of sustained form over 90 minutes, and they did it in real style.

And it was the first time in at least ten years that Hartlepool had scored four goals away from home.

The game was also important for Graham Richardson who may have only been 17 at the time, but he was a star in the Pools goal.

He made his first penalty save of his Football League career and it came at a vital time in the match.

It was also an important match for Malcom Moore, the leading scorer for Pools in the previous season, who netted his first of the new campaign.

Manager Ken Hale said afterwards: “What pleased me more than anything else was we went flat out for the full 90 minutes, each player doing his job properly.

“The strikers had a go taking on their defence, in midfield we worked hard, and in defence we did very well.”

Just over 1,000 supporters watched this exciting game which started with the home side taking the lead on six minutes.

John Martin took the ball from his own half all the way to the edge of the box, where he shaped an unstoppable bending shot past Richardson.

But Pools were level three minutes later when a neat exchange of passes put Kevin Johnson clear. His shot was partly parried by home keeper Thomas but the ball had enough power on it to roll into the net.

On 26 minutes, Pools were in front when Dave Smith fed Kevin McMahon who ran in the centre.

But this time it was Southport who tried to strike back three minutes later from the penalty spot. Sibbald took the spot kick but Richardson dived to his left and saved.

Pools increased their lead on 50 minutes when Moore shot beyond the advancing Thomas yet just another three minutes were on the clock when it was 3-2. Martin stepped up for another Southport penalty and slotted the ball home.

And in what was a constant trend throughout the match, another three minutes passed when Pools stretched the lead to 4-2.

Mick Spelman shot for goal and Thomas could only parry the ball out. Dave Smith was there to tuck away the rebound.

Ken Hale added: “What we must do is hope that it will give the players the confidence they need at present.”