Cool, calm, on-the-ground football which belied their lowly position.
That was Pools in this match against a team predicted for promotion back to Division Three after two seasons “downstairs.”
Bradford had four games left after this one, but our reporter Sentinel said: “If they repeat anything like their second-half display against Pools, they can count themselves out of the reckoning.”
Pools, on the other hand, “played with a carefree attitude that Bradford could not match”.
And if the home team had put away some more of the many chances they created, this could have been a landslide.
As it was, a 2-0 victory was the least Hartlepools United deserved for a classy rearguard action in the first half, and a storming forward display in the second 45.
We saw cool, calm, on-the-ground football and a swift cohesion that had Bradford bewildered. Pools, in fact, looked more like the side chasing promotion. Long before Willie Bradley waltzed his way past several defenders to crack home United’s second, Bradford looked a side well beatenNorthern Daily Mail sports reporter Sentinel
Sentinel added: “When Cliff Wright put Pools in front only 30 seconds after the resumption, the game was as good as over.”
The first half saw Bradford on the attack, but only Pryatt seemed to pose any real threat. After four minutes, he beat Simpkins in the Pools goal only to see his shot come back off the upright.
Bradford’s only other first-half threat was a 35th-minute Lawrie free-kick which ran to Hector. His goalbound effort was deflected over the crossbar by Harrison.
The second half was a different story. Sentinel said: “Even accepting the fact that several chances were missed, I still rated the performance of the Pools attack as a big improvement on recent showings.
“We saw cool, calm, on-the-ground football and a swift cohesion that had Bradford bewildered.
“Pools, in fact, looked more like the side chasing promotion. Long before Willie Bradley waltzed his way past several defenders to crack home United’s second, Bradford looked a side well beaten.”
Stan Storton was playing his best match for weeks.
Sam Lawrie, the Bradford star who had been such a danger earlier in the season in the encounter between the two sides, was ineffective at the Victoria Ground.
His afternoon had a miserable end when he damaged his ankle ligaments, putting him out for the rest of the season.
In the Hartlepool ranks, Wright had a cracker of a second half while Fogerty and Bradley were industrious by covering a lot of ground and dictating the play.
Thompson “fought like a tiger,” said Sentinel. The only downside was he was so well marked, he struggled to get a range of passes away.
Bannister was hit and miss. The right winger was doing well but then missed a sitter when he blazed wide from six yards.
In defence, Simpkins dealt capably with anything coming his way while Storton was the most improved man in a Pools shirt, Marshall was steady throughout, Fox was firnly in control, Ashworth constructive and Harrison doing a useful job at right-back.
Hartlepools United: Simpkins, Storton, Marshall, Ashworth, Fox, Harrison, Bannister, Fogarty, Thompson, Wright, Bradley.
Bradford: Hardie, Jones, Lightowler, Taylor, Symonds, I’Anson, Ham, Hector, Fryatt, Lawrie, Bird.
Referee: Mr MA Fussey (Retford).