Turner to the rescue as Pools grab a late ‘86 lifeline

Simon Lowe in action for Pools.
Simon Lowe in action for Pools.

Sometimes, it takes a gritty never-say-die display to earn a result.

It was exactly what happened to Pools in a 1986 encounter away to promotion contenders Aldershot.

Rob Turner who starred up front for Pools.

Rob Turner who starred up front for Pools.

But with 10 minutes to go, it looked like it was going to be a very different outcome.

Pools were under the cosh and could have easily gone two behind when they gave away two penalties.

For the first, Aldershot got to take it twice and still failed to put it in the back of the net. It came about when Nobbs was penalised for pushing Wignall at a free kick and up stepped former Everton midfielder Andy King to take the spot kick.

Pools goalkeeper Eddie Blackburn pulled off a magnificent save, only for the referee to judge that he had moved before the kick was taken.

In cold print, it could well appear that Pools did not deserve to come out of the game with a point after giving away two penalties. But nothing could be further from the truth

Hartlepool Mail reporter, 1986

King stepped up for a second go and this time, his effort smashed off the crossbar.

Pools started the match with Rob Turner and Dean Gibb up front, Nigel Walker sitting back in a midfield role, and Honour and Dixon out wide on the wings.

But it soon became obvious that the system was not working too well and Simon Lowe to replace Gibb.

Pools rode their luck and things got worse when Hartlepool’s goalkeeper Eddie Blackburn received an accidental kick in the face from Tommy Langley.

His visibility was hampered, he could barely see out of his right eye and had to face a second penalty when Roy Hogan dived to palm a shot round the post.

This time, though, King made no mistake with his spot kick and Pools were behind.

What followed was a frantic period in which Aldershot player Darren Anderson was sent off. Within a minute, Pools were level when Rob Turner capped an impressive effort up front by climbing at the far post to head into the top corner.

After the game, he said: “I’m very pleased to score and I think I did all right up front.”

Caretaker Pools manager John Bird said at the time: “We come to places like Aldershot looking to win. I am not happy with just one point from our two games down here.”

The Mail’s reporter at the time said: “In cold print, it could well appear that Pools did not deserve to come out of the game with a point after giving away two penalties.

“But nothing could be further from the truth as the home side struggled to find the form that had brought them three consercutive wins and boosted hopes of promotion.”