The signs were not so great.
Pools were on a run of six games without a win and they were up against a Fulham team placed further up the Division Three table in 1991.
And on-loan striker David Johnson failed a late fitness test on an achilles injury.
But try telling Pools that the odds were against them. They were up for this fight, especially with manager Alan Murray naming an unchanged side with teenager Steve Fletcher retaining his place in attack.
After a slow start, the game got into full flow after 25 minutes.
Pools went close when Brian Honour put Fletcher through, only for Newson to intervene with a well timed header.
If they can build on this performance, then there is no reason why they should not continue to move away from the lower reachesHartlepool Mail reporter
A free kick close to the Fulham box saw Tinkler play in Rob McKinnon whose shot whistled past the post.
It was all Pools, who were defying their run of five defeats and a draw in their last six matches.
They went close again from a free kick which followed a foul on Honour and Pools kept possession for more than a minute without Fulham touching the ball.
All that pressure produced a yellow card for Fulham’s Scott, who put a stop to yet another move with Honour at the centre of it.
The half-time whistle might have been a chance for Fulham to take a breather, but the second half continued in much the same vein as the first.
Chances came and went from the 47th minute to the 66th – but that’s when Pools made the breakthrough at last.
Tinkler made a crunching tackle outside the Fulham box and the ball ran loose to Honour who rifled the ball home.
The goal triggered Pools into pressing even harder and a second came on 68 minutes when Fletcher beat the offside trap.
The 19-year-old was clear on his own and he tore down the left before cutting in and taking his time to fire a shot past visiting keeper Stannard.
It led to Fulham making changes, but it did not alter the tone of the game. Pools pressed for a third and it almost came when Olsson’s header from an Honour cross was firm but too close to the keeper.
By the end, Pools were well-deserved winners.
Hartlepool: Hodge, Nobbs, McKinnon, McCreery, MacPhail, Tupling, Tinkler, Olsson, Fletcher, Honour, Dalton; Subs: Southall, Gabbiadini.
Fulham: Stannard, Marshall, Pike, Newson, Haag, Thomas, Morgan, Onwere, Cole, Brazil, Scott; Subs: Nebbeling, Cobb.