Hartlepool United pound Colchester in a performance which was full of fight

Brian Honour was one of the players singled out for praise by manager Billy Horner after the 1985 match against Colchester.
Brian Honour was one of the players singled out for praise by manager Billy Horner after the 1985 match against Colchester.

Now that’s how you bounce back from a setback!

They say a week is a long time in football, and it certainly was for Pools in December 1985.

Dixon heads home to score Pools third against Colchester in 1985.

Dixon heads home to score Pools third against Colchester in 1985.

Seven days earlier, they had gone out of the FA Cup at the hands of Frickley.

But this was a Pools team determined to fight back and Colchester were outclassed on a cold day at the Victoria Ground.

In fact, the match was so one-sided our reporter at the time called it a ‘demolition job’.

This fine victory put Pools right back in the mix for promotion and placed them in third spot. They were three points clear of the fifth placed club and had a game in hand over all of their nearest rivals.

We had to bounce straight back and we did. I am highly delighted with the win

Billy Horner

Only 2,507 turned up to watch the game but they were treated to a great contest – even if some of them might not have found their places in the stands by the time Alan Shoulder had put Pools in front.

From a midfield free kick, Tony Smith put David Linighan through and when he forced a corner, Nigel Walker crossed for an unmarked Shoulder to head home.

Colchester levelled the match in 36 minutes when Trevor Whymark played in Tony Adcock whose flick back to Hedman saw him fire the ball into the net.

The game was back in Pools’ favour two minutes before half-time, and this time it was a dubious penalty which put them back in front.

Walker went on a tremendous run down the wing and crossed for Shoulder, but he was brought down by the diving Colchester keeper Alex Chamberlain.

Shoulder took the spot-kick himself.

The second half was all Pools but they could not find a third until the 75th minute when David Robinson headed the ball forward for Shoulder.

He crossed into the box where Dixon was waiting to fire home.

The fourth goal came when Honour, wide on the left, passed to Robinson who hit a 25-yard shot which curled just inside the post with Chamberlain at full stretch.

After the match, manager Billy Horner said: “We had to bounce straight back and we did. I am highly delighted with the win.”

He said he was delighted for Brian Honour who had a great game while Dixon also did well, but the man of the match in the manager’s eyes was Smith, who kept up his performance in the second half despite suffering a nasty knock in the first.

Despite his remarks, Horner played down talk of promotion and said he had no intention on putting pressure on the players.