It was an up and down campaign that ultimately ended in the best way possible as Pools secured promotion with a 5-4 penalty shoot out victory over Torquay United in the promotion final at Ashton Gate
Now the dust has settled, here’s a look back at eight moments that defined Pools’ promotion campaign…
1. Halloween horror show against Torquay
Let's get the negatives out the way first. After an unbeaten start to the season for Hartlepool, early pace-setters Torquay United brought Dave Challinor's side back down to earth and exposed them for the limited and naive side that they were at the time with a 5-0 thrashing at Victoria Park, Pools' heaviest ever National League defeat. It was a wake up call that everybody needed and no one would forget as Challinor quickly brought in new additions and changed the side's style of play.
Photo: Mark Fletcher
2. Stuffing of Stockport County
If anyone asks what was the turning point in Pools' season, the watershed moment? This was it. Pools were mid table and had recently been beaten 3-0 by Woking when high-flying and high-spending Stockport County came to Victoria Park just before Christmas. What followed was an emphatic 4-0 victory, helped by two red cards for The Hatters which ultimately kick-started Pools' season. Rhys Oates got things off to a flyer with a fine solo goal, his first of 17 for the season and one he didn't look back from after a slow start to the season. It also highlighted the importance of Luke Armstrong as being the player to help fire Pools to promotion not to mention a near faultless debut for Jamie Sterry who proved to be another crucial player in the promotion.
Photo: FRANK REID 2019
3. Home win over Sutton and season uncertainty
Not only was this a vital 1-0 win over one of Pools' main promotion rivals but all the National League drama surrounding the game ultimately changed the landscape of the entire season. Both sides went into the game not entirely sure if the season would be continuing after the National League failed to secure adequate funding to compensate for the lack of supporters during the season. The fifth tier season was in serious doubt but ultimately continued with 22 teams after Dover Athletic opted to end their season shortly after. The National League North and South seasons were curtailed as a result.
Photo: Frank Reid
4. Gary Liddle's return
Gary Liddle has been suffering one of the most difficult seasons of his career after missing the majority of the opening four months of the campaign due to a serious groin injury. It wasn't until a home match against Yeovil Town in February where he finally returned to the starting line-up. The game itself wasn't going to plan for Pools as they found themselves 1-0 down and had only won one game all season after conceding first until that point. But a late turnaround thanks to Luke Armstrong and a last-gasp winner from Gavan Holohan saw Pools clinch victory which saw them move into a top three place. It was three points that confirmed seven straight wins at Victoria Park, the backbone of Pools' promotion charge and ultimately marked the start of our next moment...