Pools were lucky - but second-half rally was worth the win

The Pools team in 1960-61.
The Pools team in 1960-61.

Pools just about scraped a win against Doncaster Rovers on September 10, 1960 - but it took a second-half rally to bag the points.

Indeed, the South Yorkshire lads proved worthy leaders in the first spell, thanks to an 11th-minute goal by centre-forward Tony Leighton.

“It was not just Leighton, but also Chappell and Broadbent, who gave Pools some uncomfortable moments in the first half,” reported the Mail.

The game in the early stages followed the typical Pools pattern for the time - with United attacking straight from the kick-off.

It proved a tense, yet rather scrappy, start to the home game.

”In the first ten minutes Pools went close as many times as the visitors - but then Doncaster were a goal up,” reported the Mail.

“Broadbent tried a hopeful shot from 30 yards, Leighton stopped the ball en route, brought it down and rounded Lackenby to shoot past Wilkinson.

“This brought Doncaster really into the game, which they then dominated for the remainder of the half.”

Pools passes went astray, Pools players failed to get the ball and Pools fans fell silent as their team struggled to gain some control over the game.

But the Doncaster defence kept a tight grip on the forwards until the whistle, and covered well. Nimmo, in goal, hardly had a shot to save.

Bob Folland appeared to be having a particularly unhappy time but, shortly before the interval, did have a shot at goal - only for it to go wide.

“Pools tried everything they knew to pierce the Rovers rearguard, but it was all to no avail - as the half-backs failed to supply the passes,” said the Mail.

Even after the half-time break Pools didn’t look safe - after Haigh, for Doncaster, let loose a strong shot as he approached the penalty area.

Wilkinson tried, but failed, to make a clean catch. Instead, the ball spun out of his hands, over his head and apparently crossed the line before he snatched it back.

But, despite appeals from the Doncaster forwards, no goal was awarded - and the let-off for Pools finally started the home team on the road to victory.

First to score for Pools was Bobby Lumley, who gathered a long shot from Bill Anderson to shoot home his first goal of the season.

And, just a few minutes later, Folland simply prodded in the ball after a shot by Clarke crashed against the post.

“The goals upset Doncaster. It was a fine victory for Pools after that,” said the Mail.