Hartlepool United’s revival gains pace

Brian Honour jumping into action.
Brian Honour jumping into action.

Hartlepool wrapped up a welcome win against Fulham in 1991 – after a lengthy victory drought.

Second-half goals from Brain Honour and Steve Fletcher restored Pools to its winning way on November 9, following six matches without a victory.

Brian Honour.

Brian Honour.

“Alan Murray’s men had shown signs of a recovery by forcing a goalless draw against West Bromwich Albion earlier in the week,” reported the Mail.

“But it took until today to chalk up their first victory since October 5 – thanks to an even more improved performance against the Cottagers.

“The Londoners had never been to the Victoria Ground before and, after this game, they won’t want to return in a hurry.”

Both sides made a slow start, with keepers Martin Hodge and Jim Stannard having virtually nothing to do - except keep warm.

Hartlepool’s David McCreery managed the first shot of the game after only three minutes; sadly, it sailed well over Stannard’s crossbar.

“The opening 45 minutes produced little of note from either side, leaving the near-3,000 crowd battling to keep awake,” stated the Mail.

“Indeed, it took Pools most of the first half to get going – apart from the odd shot or scuffle. It could only get better from there – and it did!”

The return to play after the break saw Pools gradually begin to find their confidence until, at last, they started showing flashes of inspiration.

Brian Honour and John Tinkler were the undoubted stars of the show, however, helping the Pools revival gain pace throughout the second half.

“Tinkler’s raw enthusiasm was a highlight and, 16 minutes after the break, he created the opening for Honour to break the deadlock,” reported the Mail.

“The Fulham skipper thought he had the ball covered on the edge of his area, but a crunching tackle from Tinkler robbed him of possession.

“The ball ran loose to Honour, who blasted home the team’s first goal in 254 minutes of football.”

It was the break that Pools so desperately needed. And, just seven minutes later, it was 2-0, after Simon Morgan helped the ball into his own net.

“There is still plenty of room for improvement in the Pools side, and they were aided enormously by Fulham’s woeful lack of initiative.

“But they have shown tremendous character to bounce back from their recent depressing sequence. The difficult part will be to sustain this.”