FA Cup: Salford-Hartlepool United: Pools’ Six of the worst in the FA Cup

Salford City's Richie Allen celebrates scoring against Notts County in the FA Cup first-round upset
Salford City's Richie Allen celebrates scoring against Notts County in the FA Cup first-round upset

Some cynics may argue that Hartlepool United being knocked out of the FA Cup is no great surprise.

Pools travel to Salford City on Friday night with the Evo Stik Northern Premier League club licking its lips at the prospect of an upset.

However, there have been a shock or 10 over the years for Pools. Here are six of the worst.

1. Pools 1 Tamworth 2

First round, 2005-06

Pools losing to an M42 motor services?

OK, they lost to the Midlands outfit not Little Chef, but it was just as embarrassing. No offence to Little Chef.

Just six months after coming within eight minutes of the Championship, League One Pools exited the FA Cup to Tamworth.

The Conference side would argue it was no great shock, Tamworth had enjoyed a first round win at Bournemouth and Pools were not going well under Martin Scott.

Jake Edwards put the Lambs ahead and Matt Redmile headed in the second.

Chris Llewellyn scored from the penalty spot for a powerful Pools side but Tamworth held on to make it a happy day for their boss, ex-Pools midfielder Mark Cooper.

2. Rhyl 1 Pools 0

First round 1970-71

It was hard to match the Tamworth result for ineptitude but this result came pretty close.

Rhyl were not what you would class as a top-drawer non-league side. The Welsh outfit were in the Cheshire County League, something akin to the Hudsons Taxis League.

However, they were too good for John Simpson’s side who had a decent XI on the field, including Tony Bircumshaw, Bill Green, Mally Dawes, Nicky Sharkey, Tony Parry and Ron Young.

3. Pools 1 Blyth Spartans 2

Second round 2014-15

Losing to Evo Stik Northern Premier Blyth Spartans was bad enough but doing it live on BBC2 made it even more humiliating.

The Beeb sent Alan Shearer into the way dressing room before hand and finished off his natter to the underdogs by suggesting it was the night for a player to make a name for himself.

Jarrett Rivers was that man, delivering a step-over and then a neat angled finish to beat Scott Flinders in the 90th minute.

Pools had actually led through Jon Franks in the first half but Spartans fought back through Stephen Turnbull’s brilliant free-kick as the midfielder made a triumphant return to the Vic.

Paul Murray’s side were unlucky to have a Marlon Harewood ‘goal’ not awarded and they hit the bar in injury time.

Defeat spelled the end for Muzza, who was sacked on the Saturday.

4. Boston United 2 Pools 1

Second round, 1971-72

Just 12 months after exiting at Rhyl, Pools made another ignominious departure, this time at Boston.

Pools had thumped Scarborough 6-1 in the opening round, a young winger by the name of Neil Warnock on target.

But in the second round, Pools were sorted out by Jim Smith’s Boston, the player-manager actually one of the scorers.

The Lincolnshire club also had Howard Wilkinson in their ranks.

Bobby Veart was on the mark for a Pools side who included a number of those who were in the XI who lost at Rhyl.

5. Pools 0 Kettering Town 1

First round, 2009-10

Mark Cooper was at it again, returning this time with Kettering to dump Pools, now under Chris Turner’s control, out of the FA Cup.

Pools had 17 shots but were desperately weak in front of goal, Denis Behan and Adam Boyd having a day to forget.

Booed off at half-time, the frustration gew greater as Pools failed to take advnatage of the amount of possession they enjoyed.

Moses Ashikodi’s 15th-minute close-range header won it and the man of the match was the appropriately-named Exodus Geohaghon.

6. Pools 0 Frickley Athletic 1

Second round, 1985-86

For some reason, this kicked off at 3.15pm, much to the consternation of Pools boss Billy Horner.

Did it affect Pools against the Yorkshire non-league outfit?

It’s too bizarre to look for excuses as a Pools side featuring the likes of Eddie Blackburn, David Linighan, Tony Smith, Brian Honour and Alan Shoulder were beaten by the better side on the day.

Pools fans spent much of the afternoon taunting the Frickley fans massed in one half of the Town End with “scab, scab” as the tie took place during the miners strike.

Frickley had the last laugh. But Horner could concentrate on the League, Pool finishing a very good seventh, sadly this was in the pre play-off days.