Pools gave their fans something to remember when they completed their 1982/1983 home campaign with a performance to be proud of.
Rochdale were the opponents at the Victoria Ground and left the North East as 3-0 losers.
At times, Pools had to ride their luck to come away with a victory. But that’s what they did and manager John Duncan made six changes to the starting 11, including putting Andrew Linighan into a central midfield slot.
Our reporter at the time said: “Whether this is to be a long-term role for the player who has attracted scouts galore because of his defensive ability remains to be seen, but it certainly was not a bad start for him.
“Younger brother David covered magnificently in the middle of a defence which lost Mike Fagan after only 13 minutes through injury.”
Fagan was replaced by Phil Brown while Kenny Lowe gave an outstanding performance on his return to the side especially in the second half when Roy Hogan was at his ball-winning best.
At the end of the game, people ran onto the pitch and that is just as encouraging a sign as the team’s performance wasJohn Duncan, 1983
Paul Dobson and Paul Staff were commanding up front once Pools got to grips with the game.
But it wasn’t until the 53rd minute that the home team took the lead and it came from a controversial penalty.
Dobson tried to break on the right under pressure from Bill Williams and attempted a right foot shot. But referee Mike Scott pointed to the spot after blowing for a foul.
Roy Hogan took it and slotted a perfect penalty into the bottom corner.
Rochdale pushed forward in search for an equaliser when they were caught out again on 63 minutes.
Pools broke free and Dobson drew Williams before passing inside for Staff. Williams got back to try and cover but Staff wrong-footed him before firing in a low shot from the edge of the box.
It was proving to be a good day for Hartlepool and it got even better when Dobson again broke on the right. This time, he cut inside along the goal-line and his shot-cross deflected off a defender to beat the dive of keeper Graeme Crawford and land in the far corner of the net.
Afterwards, Duncan said: “There were a few very pleasing performances today and I was delighted with the way the team set about the game. We needed a goal to get things really going as I wanted them to go, but it came for us.
“At the end of the game, people ran onto the pitch and that is just as encouraging a sign as the team’s performance was.”