One goal was enough for Pools in pulsating win over Workington

Goalmouth action from the Pools-Workington match.
Goalmouth action from the Pools-Workington match.

It’s not always a goal fest which guarantees that a game of football is a cracker.

And while the September 1972 encounter between Hartlepool United and Workington which we’re looking back at today only ended 1-0, it was a pulsating contest.

Alan Goad.

Alan Goad.

And the fact that Pools’ winner came in the last 15 minutes only added to the day’s drama.

It was an open, exciting game, and featured two teams who seemed intent on attacking.

Our reporter at the time said: “Hartlepool had the edge for most of the game, but Workington’s tricky forwards always spelled danger.”

New signing Bryan Conlon led the Pools attack in a match where a win was a big boost.

It was played just two days before Pools were due to face local rivals Darlington.

But it nearly started so badly for the Victoria Ground side.

The Hartlepool defence got itself in a terrible tangle, yet somehow they managed to get the ball away without any damage.

Once they did, the ball was worked forward to Neil Warnock, whose cross found Conlon. He headed home well, but his ‘goal’ was disallowed for offside.

Workington came straight back at Pools and Ogilvie broke on the left.

He worked an angle for a shot, but it went straight into the arms of the home goalkeeper Watling.

At this stage, Workington looked the better side, but new signing Conlon was already endearing himself to the Pools faithful.

As the match wore on, Hartlepool found their rhythm and stepped up the pressure.

Yet both sides looked as if they could score with each attack they made.

Just as it looked as if the game might end in a stalemate, Pools ramped up the pressure once more and penned the opposition back. Waddell went close and Conlon was still a threat.

But the goal which eventually came was from a penalty given on a handball decision which was described by our reporter at the time as “highly dubious”.

Bobby Smith stepped up to take the kick and scored his fourth goal from the spot.

Pools went close again when Conlon found space to bring a ball down on his chest, but he pulled the ball across the face of the goal.

Then Coyne had a shot and Rogan had to punch the ball over the bar.

Our reporter described Workington as “easily the best team that Hartlepool has met this season”.

In the end, most of the 4,556 fans in the Victoria Ground were happy at the final whistle with the 1-0 outcome for Pools.