Hartlepool United v Northampton Town: Kelly’s Eye on THE big upsets

Jake Gray celebrates after scoring in Pools' 3-1 win over Leyton Orient
Jake Gray celebrates after scoring in Pools' 3-1 win over Leyton Orient

If the favourites always won, there would be no point the other lot bothering to turn up, would there?

Ever since David felled Goliath with that fateful shot, there have been those magical moments, rare admittedly, when a good little ’un beats the big ’un or when the champs are flattened by the hungry underdog.

There have been magical moments, rare admittedly, when a good little ’un beats the big ’un


Hartlepool United must have that hope in their hearts and minds this week when Northampton Town visit Victoria Park.

Now, your award-winning wordsmith, a tad of an exaggeration admittedly, is not suggesting Pools are hosting Real Madrid or Barcelona this Saturday.

However, the Cobblers are the League Two ‘invincibles’.

For all their financial worries, Northampton have put together a champions run together – 10 wins in a row. They are 12 points clear at the top and have an 18-point cushion over Accrington in fourth.

Have Pools, 20 positions and 46 points worse off, got any chance at all? And here’s why. Kelly’s Eye brings you his top five upsets – I missed the David v Goliath fight, but I will start with a sport close to my heart.

1. Mike Tyson v James Douglas: Now, it transpired Iron Mike did not quite take his fellow American too seriously in Tokyo.

And how he paid the price. Unbeaten Tyson was the best and most brutal heavyweight on the planet and Buster a rank outsider. He was a no-hoper with a heavy heart, fighting just weeks after the death of his mother, but Douglas knocked the champion to the floor in the 10th, with Tyson counted out.

2. USA v USSR: Talk about the Cold War, the world super-powers met on the ice hockey arena at Lake Placid in the 1980 Winter Olympics.

The Soviet Union were viewed as an unstoppable force with their powerful, highly-trained athletes up against USA side full of college kids.

But the kids had their day, beating the USSR 4-3.

3. New Zealand v France: The All Blacks only had to turn up at Twickenham to beat France and reach the 1999 World Cup final where they would confirm their place as the best side on the planet.

That was the pre-match talk and it seemed to be going to script when the All Blacks led 24-10. But the French tore that up with a breathtaking run-it-from anywhere exhibition to win 43-31.

4. European Championship 1992: Denmark’s footballers were scattered on various beaches in the early summer of 1992 when the call came to get to Sweden.

Yugoslavia was in the grip of a bloody civil war and their footy team pulled out of the Euros. Denmark were invited in to make up the numbers, or so we thought. The great Danes went from romantic hopefuls to champions, beating the mighty now unified Germany 2-0 in the final.

5. Holly Holm v Ronda Rousey. UFC is not really my cup of tea, a little bit on the rough side for this big softie.

But here was the upset of all upsets. Ronda Rousey was viewed as the female Mike Tyson (a little harsh, surely) and had won her first 12 fights, 11 inside round one.

Veteran Holm was no mug, a champion in her own right, but she was given no chance and started a 20-1 outsider.

But she landed a brutal knockout kick in round two for UFC’s greatest shock.

Holly is not available for Pools this Saturday, though Kelly’s Eye heard Ronnie Moore had previously tried to get her in on loan.

Pools do not need her.

They just need some belief and continue their improvement under new boss Craig Hignett – but cut out the late goals!

Pools have already shocked Leyton Orient, who came to the Vic earlier in the season as the best thing since sliced bread. I was mocked openly (nothing new there) for predicting a 3-1 win. But Pools can do it again. Honest!