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The day when two legends starred for Pools

Malcolm Poskett goes close for Pools against Brentford.
Malcolm Poskett goes close for Pools against Brentford.

Two great names in Hartlepool’s footballing past came together to secure a Pools win which was filled with class.

The 1977 home win against Brentford had so many highlights going for it.

Billy Horner.

Billy Horner.

One was the fact that it was the first time Pools had taken all the points in five games.

Second was that their opponents were flying high.

Third, it saw a return to goalscoring form for Malcolm Poskett. And fourth, Bob Newton made both Poskett’s efforts as well as having a fine game all round.

The game was finely balanced with chances at both ends until the 42nd minute when Poskett broke the deadlock. The Hartlepool Mail report at the time said: “It was finishing at its best which pushed Pool ahead.

I thought we contained them very well when they attacked and stuck to the job that needed to be done. We played the better football and all our goals were good ones

Billy Horner, 1977

“The move started when Newton was fouled in the centre circle and he took a quick free kick himself to send Poskett racing away down the right.

“The striker had Denis Salman in hot pursuit behind him and when he reached the penalty area it seemed certain he would square the ball for the inrushing Newton, but instead he let fly with a screaming shot from a bad angle which ripped into the roof of the net before goalkeeper Len Bond could move.”

Poskett turned provider on 58 minutes when he headed on Paul Bielby’s right wing corner to Billy Ayre and the centre half headed home.

Brentford were back in it nine minutes later when play was allowed to go on despite an infringement. Andy McCulloch crossed and Steve Phillips slid the ball home from close range.

It was tough on Pools who thought the referee was going to stop play, but they responded in perfect style when Newton set up Poskett on 71 minutes.

Newton raced down the left, beat his man and sent over a cross from the goal-line which Poskett met with his head as it dropped.

From then on, it was a one-sided affair as Pools dominated and should have scored more.

After the match was over, Poskett told the Mail they were two of the best goals he’d scored for the club but he paid tribute to another player.

He said Dick Malone’s return to the team had been important as his forward runs were so good, adding: “Dick Malone being back in the side helps me a lot.”

Manager Billy Horner said later: “I thought we contained them very well when they attacked and stuck to the job that needed to be done. We played the better football and all our goals were good ones.”