Match of the day: A Happy New Year for Wilson’s promotion-pushing Pools

Danny Wilson.
Danny Wilson.

“Let’s stay unbeaten”.

That was the rallying cry from Pools boss Danny Wilson after watching his promotion-pushing side beat Mansfield Town 1-0 away thanks to Andy Monkhouse’s strike – the winger was on loan at the time before securing a permanent move. The date was January 1, 2007.

FLASHBACK: How the Hartlepool Mail reported the 1-0 win over Mansfield Town on New Year's Day in 2007.

FLASHBACK: How the Hartlepool Mail reported the 1-0 win over Mansfield Town on New Year's Day in 2007.

Pools were on an amazing run and the nine consecutive wins had lofted the club up to fifth in the league.

Goalscoring hero that day Monkhouse reckoned the run had propelled Pools into the position of being favourites for promotion that year and his prediction came true five months later with the club promoted to League One.

He struck with 15 minutes remaining to bundle home the rebound from Jon Daly’s saved penalty kick to re-write the record books.

As well as setting new standards for consecutive league wins and clean sheets, they also made it five away wins on the trot – equalling their past best.

Wilson told SportMail: “It just shows you what a bit of belief can do.

“The lads are buzzing right now and don’t feel like they are going to lose any game.

“They are putting their bodies on the line, not just at the back but right through the team, to keep this run going.

“Will that continue until the end of the season? I don’t know, but there is no reason why we can’t believe we can.”

He wasn’t far wrong, Pools went on to record a 23-match unbeaten run on their way to promotion that year.

Monkhouse, who was on loan from Swindon Town, added: “Full points over Christmas is unbelievable.

“I am sure nine games ago nobody would have thought we could get 27 points from 27 but that is what you have got to do if you want to be up there.”

Pools: Konstantopoulos, Barron, Clark, Liddle, Humphreys, Monkhouse (D. Williams), Boland, Sweeney, E. Williams (Daly), Brown, Duffy. Subs: Provett, Bullock, Foley.

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• PHIL ‘The Power’ Taylor paid a glowing tribute to his conqueror Raymond van Barneveld after losing a dramatic sudden-death shootout World Championship final.

Taylor relinquished a three-set lead as Barneveld held his nerve to claim a fifth world dart title and the £100,000 first prize.

The match had been hyped up like no other in darts history and it didn’t disappoint.

The Stoke legend said: “Raymond has loads of bottle and came back well.”

• NEW Year’s Day is always a busy day on the footballing calendar.

While Hartlepool United were busy beating Mansfield Town away, North East neighbours Middlesbrough beat Sheffield United 3-1 at the Riverside.

A Yakubu brace helped Boro to victory, with Mark Viduka netting the other goal.

Toby Hysen and David Connolly were the heroes for the Black Cats as they triumphed 2-0 away to Leicester City to start Sunderland’s new year in style.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United managed a point at home to Manchester United, the game ending 2-2 at St James’s Park.

James Milner and David Edgar scored for the Mags, while Paul Scholes bagged a brace for the Red Devils.

• AWAY from the region and it was a New Year’s Day to forget for West Ham United boss Alan Curbishley.

The Hammers were thumped 6-0 at Reading and Curbishley said the result was an accident waiting to happen after inheriting a squad lacking in commitment and hunger.

Curbishley looked astonished as he watched on in horror.

He said: “When I came in two and a bit weeks ago, I had a good look from the outside and this has been coming,” admitted Curbishley.