HULL City’s Daniel East, their full-back-cum-emergency-goalkeeper, will be glad to see the back of Evan Horwood.
Starting the game on the right-hand side of the defence, the 19-year-old was terrorised from the off by the fit-again Pools star, who was making his return from a two-week thigh layoff for this League Cup clash.
Horwood had already laid on the opening goal for James Poole, who headed home on five minutes, when, with he and East challenging for a ball dropping from the sky on halfway, his head cracked in to that of his opponent, leaving the pair stricken on the turf.
The Pools man, blood trickling from a wound, was patched up.
The visiting defender, meanwhile, returned the action looking a little dazed to say the least.
But, on 38 minutes and with the hosts three goals up thanks to further efforts from James Brown, blasting in from close range, and Paul Johnson, bravely heading in from 18 yards, East had a chance to escape his nemesis.
Rookie goalkeeper Joe Cracknell had rushed a yard outside of his penalty area in anticipation of clearing a long punt downfield, only to get in a mix-up with Joe Bennett and end up instinctively handling his defender’s headed back pass.
Referee Paul Davison, sticking to the letter of the law, produced red, much to the disdain of Mick Wadsworth, who vacated his seat in protest, and Tigers coach Nick Barmby, the former England international, who was reprimanded by the fourth official.
With 16-year-old Cracknell departed to applause from a sympathetic crowd, East seized his chance, donning the goalkeeper’s gloves and jersey.
But Horwood wasn’t finished with the Hull starlet.
And, after laying on a fourth for Colin Larkin with a neat throughball and instinctive finish from the Irishman, Horwood produced the moment of the match on 64 minutes– a goal he would later describe as his best ever.
Brown fizzed an awkward pass into his midriff but the Pools-born ace made light work of it, using the outside of his boot to trap in an instant, still some 45 yards from goal on the fringe of the centre circle.
But Horwood only had one thing on his mind and, noticing that man East had vacated the safety of his six-yard area, he sent an outrageous volley looping over the forlorn keeper and into the back of the net.
It was a goal good enough to grace the grandest of stadia, so for the 100 or so at Billingham’s Bedford Terrace it was something of a treat.
Still not satisfied, man-of-the-match Horwood swept a free-kick onto the brow of Steven Snaith, the livewire youth-team striker, who guided home an 83rd-minute header to make it 6-1, Jonathan Margetts having earlier pulled one back for the visitors just before half-time.
In fairness to East he had performed heroics against the odds at times and left the field on full-time to a pat on the head and an arm around the shoulder from both Wadsworth and Micky Barron.
READ the full match report and reaction in Thursday’s Mail ...