Hartlepool United, don’t panic, there are still 135 points to play for

Ryan Donaldson of Hartlepool United battles with Dover Athletic's Femi Ilesanmi during  Vanarama National League defeat at Victoria Park.  (Photo: Mark Fletcher | Shutter Press) 

�Shutter Press
Ryan Donaldson of Hartlepool United battles with Dover Athletic's Femi Ilesanmi during Vanarama National League defeat at Victoria Park. (Photo: Mark Fletcher | Shutter Press) �Shutter Press

Carol Vorderman and Rachel Riley I certainly am not. I simply have not got the figures they have.

Before anyone complains to the Politically Correct police, I am, of course, referring to their skill with numbers.

Any notion of panic or negativity at Victoria Park after just one match would be total nonsense

ROY KELLY

While I am incapable of solving those numerical posers on Countdown, I can multiply the numbers 45 and three. Providing I had my calculator handy.

No seriously, even a man of my limited skill and, believe me, there is no end to my limitations. Yes, I can do 45 x 3 in my head and the answer is 135.

That is the number of points still up for grabs for Hartlepool United, if you have digested the headline before having to struggle through the words here on this award-winning column. That last line might not quite be true, in fact, it’s a complete and utter fib. Not that I’d lie to you nice people.

The statement that there are 135 points to contest is absolutely and utterly correct.

And that process starts again this evening at Macclesfield Town, not an easy place to go, especially as the Macc lads were on-song on Saturday, when they won 1-0 at Wrexham to be one of six teams to be sat at the top end of the table with one victory.

Any notion of panic or negativity at Victoria Park after just one match would be total nonsense. It’s a shame after the positive vibes that management, players and fans went home deflated, but Dover have been consistently one of this division’s leading sides and, clearly, they still intend to be this season.

A 1-0 defeat to the Whites, while disappointing, is not an end-of-the-world scenario – there is a long way to go.

The team, and Craig Harrison is unlikely to be ripping things up at this early stage, needs time to bed in.

Five of Saturday’s starting XI were new signings and a side does not just click into gear overnight.

Yes, there were old, all-too-familiar failings – the main forward too isolated and Pools muscled out of it by a physically-superior force.

But it was just match one of 46 and there is a long way to go and those players who looked good acquisitions by Harrison still look good acquisitions.

Pools must stay patient and stay positive, though Kelly’s Eye is reminded of the old adage ‘you don’t win a league in August, but you can lose it’.

The side must look to eke out as many points as they can while moving up the gears and then hopefully class and momentum will take care of it.

This columnist will take you back a decade to the time that Danny Wilson took over Pools following the relegation from League One, just a year after we all had our hopes raised by a run to the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.

It took a while for things to come together but when they did, Pools went on an amazing run and should really have ended that season as champions.

There is nothing stopping Pools from doing just that under Harrison – he has a little bit of experience of the long, unbeaten run, given he once broke the world record at The New Saints.

Before signing off, a word about the support at the Vic on Saturday – fan-tastic. Kelly’s Eye thought somewhere in the region of 3,000 would be a good attendance but the Poolie faithful turned out in force, with 3,954 there.

Even subtracting the 106 Dover fans, almost 4,000 the first game after relegation is an amazing figure.

Well done people, you did your club and town proud. And remember THE number, 135.

Hopefully Pools will collect three tonight at the Moss Rose Ground.