Memory Lane: 11,000 turn out for Pools’ top-of-the-table clash

The goal which sparked Hartlepools' comeback.
The goal which sparked Hartlepools' comeback.

If the season of 1956-1957 was played these days, Hartlepools United would have been promoted after finishing second in a tight league.

As it was, only champions Derby County headed into the Second Division.

Pools player Ray Thompson.

Pools player Ray Thompson.

Pools had to be content with another season of away days at the likes of Gateshead and Barrow in the Third Division North.

But at least the team was pulling in the crowds in a close-run season. And on a chilly spring day, 11,000 turned out to watch Pools at home to fellow high-fliers Workington.

It was a real ‘six-pointer’, and the crowd got right into the spirit, as our correspondent Sentinel reported.

“Workington supporters kept the stand crowd lively with their interpretation of John Peel, and Pools supporters responded with the best assortment of bells and rattles since the Manchester United match.”

Pools dominated the early play without really threatening the Workington goal.

It was the visitors who took the lead on 11 minutes when Chisholm scored a hotly contested goal, with Pools protesting about a possible handball.

Moore and Guthrie were caught pondering on how to deal with a ball through, when Chisholm pounced and bundled the ball into the net.

By half-time it was more of the same, with Pools’ pressing but not producing the final product.

But the second half was a different story. Rayment had Pools level on 46 minutes and Sentinel’s report said it all.

“The manner in which he swept past Fleming and Aitken to drive the ball into the net marked him as the number one danger man.

“He inspired the forwards to that second-half rally.”

After that it was one-way traffic, with Pools clinching the win with a Johnson goal on 75 minutes.

Smith had come close with a lob which rattled the bar, before Johnson headed the winner home.

Sentinel described it as a job well done. “Pools thoroughly deserved this encouraging win. And though in my view it would have been an injustice to Pools’ had they lost, they just scraped through.”

The teams: Pools: Guthrie; Waugh; Thompson; Newton; Moore; Stamper; Rayment; Lumley; Johnson; Smith; Luke.

Workington: Newlands; Brown; Fleming; Kinloch; Aitken; Bertolini; Mitchell; Purdon; Dailey; Chisholm; Jones.

Referee: Mr F H Gerrard (Preston).

Goals: Chisholm, Workington (11 minutes), Rayment, Pools (46 minutes), Johnson, Pools (75 minutes).