Hartlepool fans still have hope and belief of survival despite away defeat to York City

Hartlepool United supporters at York City
Hartlepool United supporters at York City

HARTLEPOOL United were backed by more than 2,000 fans away at York City as they battle against relegation.

We asked Pools supporters to write a blog of their trip down to Bootham Crescent for the crunch clash.

Phil Wanley, from Hartlepool, shares his thoughts here.

I’ve been to some big Pools games over the years, play-off finals and semi-finals but I haven’t felt as nervous about a game like this in a long while.

It’s a different feeling being down the bottom, desperation more than excitement.

The last month of good form feels like it’s been building towards this game.

I could barely sleep the night before and even woke up an hour before my three alarms. (my three alarms are my three sons Jack, Olly and Lewis who always rise very early).

I headed to the train station for the 8:35am train to York with hope and anticipation of a great day and three vital points.

The station was bouncing, everyone in great spirits, Pools fans young and old mingling with each other.

We arrived at York smoothly and the chants began, ‘Ronnie Moore’s blue n white army’, ‘We are staying up’, ‘The Tshibola song’, which is sang to the tune of Spandau Ballet’s gold.

I wasn’t sure where to go but me and my friends just followed the chants and ended up in the Punchbowl Pub not far from the ground, it had been well and truly adopted by Pools fans all behaving themselves in front of the watchful eye of the Yorkshire police.

No trouble today lads, just banter beer and plenty of singing.

It wasn’t long before the pub was erupting into song - this had the feeling of a great day.

We just needed to get things right on the pitch, all this build up, the players had to be up for this right?

Walking the streets of York was like Hartlepool at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon at the Mill House, everyone seemed to know everyone and even if you didn’t we all had a common interest.

My group of friends had heard great things about The Stone Roses bar, in York, so we headed there for a few more pre-match pints to get us in the mood.

Everyone in there seemed to be a Pools fan, we walked in and “I Am The Resurrection” was playing on the juke box, a sign surely?

Finally it was game time, the wait was over, but like waiting for Christmas, it’s never quiet how you expect it to be.

The performance wasn’t up to it, the atmosphere and the singing was flat in the open York City away end terracing, the Pools fans tried, but we fell as short as the players, we lost - we lost the game we couldn’t lose!

As we walked back to the Stone Roses bar to drown our sorrows, the consolation of hearing Cheltenham and Tranmere also lost lifted the spirits slightly, but it still felt like a big opportunity missed.

It wouldn’t be pools if we didn’t do things the hard way.

Suffering is part of the job.

I expected a sombre train back home, gutted fans, glum faces, but it was the opposite.

The train was rocking with Pools songs and people coming together in defeat, we’ve seen enough twists and turns this season and over the years to know there’s still plenty left to happen.

It’s still in our hands, as Ian Brown sang in the Stone Roses bar... We are the Resurrection!