Pools belter of a late clincher against Bournemouth
How times have changed. These days, Bournemouth are a Premier League club.
But back in March 1980, they were facing Pools in a match which remained finely balanced after Hartlepool gifted their visitors a way back into the game.
It all started so well when Pools dominated the early play yet were not so effective with the finishing shot.
Yet they took the lead on seven minutes when Sweeney put in a cross which seemed to evade everyone. It reached Bournemouth player Cunningham who, when he tried to put the ball out for a corner, it found its way into the bottom of the Bournemouth net with goalkeeper Smaulders stranded.
It was just the boost Pools needed to start looking for more opportunities. Hampton went close on a couple of good runs but Pools weren’t showing any of the goalscoring prowess which saw them hammer Doncaster a week earlier.
One of Pools’ smallest crowds were watching the game and were rewarded with a second Hartlepool goal on 34 minutes.
Just as with the first, it was a gift from Bournemouth.
Linacre was in the penalty box and trying to turn when he was brought down by Heffernan.
Ayre stepped up to take the spot-kick and gave the keeper no chance.
It seemed to be going well, but Bournemouth got back into the match just before half-time. There were 43 minutes on the clock when Impey crossed and Givens tucked the ball away.
In the second half, Bournemouth fought hard to get on level terms and yet, the game became confined mostly to a midfield battle – or with both keepers having to clear a string of back passes.
Our reporter said at the time: “The result for the crowd was instant boredom for most of the time with only occasional long range shots providing anything of interest.”
Yet all that changed on 81 minutes when Pools fired in a third – and this time, it was a great effort.
Lincare broke well on the right and got over a cross which eventually reached Hampton.
He struck a stunning half volley into the roof of the net from 15 yards.
Our reporter said: “The goal gave Pools the chance to relax at last and they began to play some better football as Bournemouth visibly crumbled.
“There was a couple of late half chances for Pools but by this time it did not really matter whether they took them or not as Bournemouth were on their knees.”