MEMORY LANE: Darlo defeat made it a bleak end to year

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IT was the game all Hartlepools United fans used to look forward to every season – Pools versus Darlington.

But they would certainly have wanted to forget the derby match against the “old enemy” in 1960, when Darlo trounced the boys from the Vic 4-0.

The headline in the Football Edition of the Mail said it all: “Darlington Too Clever for ’Pools.”

And judging by the scoreline and the subhead, which read “Gruelling time for in-form Oakley (Hartlepool’s goalkeeper), it was all too easy for the Quakers when they took on Pools at Feethams.

The Mail’s reporter at the match, Sentinel, reported that: “Darlington proved much the better team and ’Pools must have been glad to be no more than two goals down at half-time.”

On a heavy pitch that had been well sanded before the kick-off, Pools were outplayed by a Darlington side that featured a 19-year-old Mike Peacock, making his debut in goal for the Quakers.

And he and his fellow team-mates must have been well pleased by the time the final whistle went.

Goals from Robson, in the 12th minute, Milner, in the 15th, an own goal from Lackenby, in the 60th minute, and another from Robson, in the 83rd, were enough to see off a Hartlepools team that failed to offer much of a threat in return.

For as Sentinel said in his post-match verdict: “Pools were found lacking in every department in the game, and how they were only beaten by four goals is anybody’s guess, for Darlington had more than three parts of this game.

“The Quakers in their all-white strip and with their sleeves buttoned down to the wrists like a poor man’s version of Real Madrid (no bitterness there then!).

“But the soccer they turned on in flashes was good stuff by any standards.”

* Hartlepools United: Oakley, Dixon, Lonsdale, Macgregor, Lackenby, Patterson, Bircham, Lumley, Cooper, Clark and Johnson.

The league table at the time made equally depressing reading: Darlington were fifth top, with 31 points, while Pools were fourth bottom, with 18 points.

Let us hope that Pools will not be playing Darlington again for some time – unless it’s a case of the Quakers getting back in the league!