Remembering when Pools won the game in the first 30 minutes

Graeme Hedley shows his shooting skills in a 1985 match.
Graeme Hedley shows his shooting skills in a 1985 match.

It’s not often that any team gets to relax after the first half hour of a game.

But that’s what Pools did in a one-sided affair in 1985 when they were totally dominant against Torquay United.

The best entertainment at the Victoria Ground for some months. Pool, in fact, won the game in the first half hour. But the winning margin could have been far bigger if Pool had not decided to go into semi-retirement after that third goal

Hartlepool Mail reporter, 1985

In fact, it was so much of a breeze, the Hartlepool Mail reporter at the time described it as Pools best win of the season and the only danger they faced was relaxing too much.

By the end, one man in particular had shone in the type of game where everything they did seemed to pay off in style.

But more of Graeme Hedley and his super show later.

Pools coach John Bird said after the game: “When we got the third, I was sure we were on the way to six, even more, and I was extremely disappointed when we did not score again.”

He added: “All the players did very well indeed but realised that they should not have let up after that third goal had been scored. Even so, it was a very good result and we were delighted with it.”

Pools took the lead after only ten minutes when Graeme Hedley’s corner was headed on at the near post by Barry Wardrobe. Kevin Dixon, who the previous week had announced that he was withdrawing a transfer request, scored with a header from close range.

Pools doubled their lead just a minute later and the goal again involved Hedley. His free kick found Brian Honour in the box and he was fouled by Paul Compton. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and it was Hedley who stepped up to score easily from the resulting penalty.

Hedley was back in the thick of the action again on the 27th minute.

A chance for a third goal for Pools was set up by Hogan and Wardrobe and it was Hedley who blasted the ball into the roof of the net.

After that, Torquay came more into the game in the second half and Pools certainly took their foot off the pedal.

But our reporter said: “Despite Pools’ occasional couldn’t care less attitude, the visitors rarely looked like scoring.”

However, the visitors did get a consolation goal when Andy O’Dell slammed home a shot from 20 yards out with only five minutes left to play.

Our reporter described the game as “the best entertainment at the Victoria Ground for some months.

“Pool, in fact, won the game in the first half hour.

“But the winning margin could have been far bigger if Pool had not decided to go into semi-retirement after that third goal.”