Pools rained supreme in this storm-hit Cup encounter

They love a giant killing act in Hartlepool.

Friday, 23rd November 2018, 10:00 am
Mark Taylor's equaliser put Pools right back in the hunt for victory.

And fans got one 34 years ago when Derby County came to town and left with a 2-1 defeat courtesy of goals by Pools stars Mark Taylor and Kevin Dixon.

The FA Cup first round tie was battled out in pouring rain, although more than 7,000 still turned up to see Pools win a match that manager Billy Horner described as “tremendous”.

Kevin Dixon's winner for Pools in the 1984 Cup clash with Derby County.

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“Days like this are special,” said Horner. “Everybody should enjoy them. Players, directors and supporters alike.”

The Mail reporter at the time described the result as one which “suggested to many that Pools have come of age”.

Derby’s 11 featured the likes of Kenny Burns and John Robertson, but it was a day when everything went right for the home side – eventually.

Pools were one down at the break courtesy of a Steve Buckley penalty, which he scored a minute before the break. It was awarded after Phil Brown had fouled Bobby Davison.

But Horner’s team came out in storming fashion in the second half.

On 56 minutes, a free kick was awarded to Pools five yards outside of the Derby box. Hedley chipped it forward, Dixon helped it on and it eventually fell to Taylor who scored from 15 yards out.

It was only ten minutes later when Mutrie sent Taylor away on the left and he got a cross in to the far post. The ball found Dixon who side-stepped one challenge and then sent goalkeeper Eric Steele the wrong way before tapping the ball into an empty net.

But it wasn’t just the Pools forwards who were on form that day. Goalkeeper Alan Stevenson made more than one important save and the defence in front of him kept chances to a minimum. Roy Hogan and Graeme Hedley were in great form on that front.

Horner admitted after the match: “I was a bit worried at half-time when we were behind, but once we were level and gave the crowd something to get excited about, I felt we would win.

“Both our goals were a bit special and the first must be credited to John Bird who has done a lot of work on free kicks.

“It is good to see them come off like that and earn such a good result.”

The Mail reporter said: “Even the rain, the Victoria Ground mud and occasional outbreaks of fighting in the crowd could not dampen Pools’ after-match celebrations – and how they deserved their big day.”

He put the victory down to Pools’ workrate and non-stop running.