A new manager, new hope and an attacking outlook which paid immediate dividends. This was Pools and Bournemouth were the team to pay in March 1971.
It was all change at Pools 48 years ago when Len Ashurst moved down the coast to become the player-manager.
And within a week of arriving at Victoria Park, he had made a huge difference by leading Pools to a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth.
Not only that but the missing fans began to return in the hope of seeing a change in fortunes. They were not disappointed.
The rest, said Ashurst, would be back ‘after a match like that’.
Pools reporter Sentinel described it as the most one-sided 2-1 game he’d seen in a long time and the win didn’t do justice to Pools’ dominance.
Bournemouth were proficient and took one of their rare opportunities. Pools, on the other hand, had a hatful of chances.
The midfield pairing of Dawes and Bradbury were powerful and Tony Parry provided a key link between defence and attack. Ralph Wright showed plenty of promise while Ron Young and Nicky Sharkey never stopped running.
But Sentinel added: “Perhaps the feature of the game was the performance of Bill Green. This young centre half has attracted a lot of attention this season but he had his best game on Saturday in the Football League.”
It was testament to Green’s skill that prolific Bournemouth forward Ted McDougall was completely marked out of the game.
Alongside Green was fellow centre half Alan Goad who did just as good a job in keeping the visitors other attacking threat, Phil Boyer, quiet.
Yet despite all their good work throughout the first half, Pools were behind on the 42nd minute when Pat Holland’s strong run was blocked by Goad.
But despite Goad’s tackle, the ball ran out to Sainty who blasted it home.
Pools were back in it within three minutes when the Bournemouth keeper was penalised for taking too many steps.
A Pools free kick followed and Sharkey slipped the ball to his right where Bircumshaw met it. It travelled so fast, it found a way through the wall and into the net before the keeper could react.
The second half offered a similar pattern of Bournemouth looking like they might get going while Pools actually did without producing the final product.
Until two minutes from time that is when Bircumshaw overlapped on the right and the visiting defence stood off.
He took his time to pick out his cross and found Young in plenty of space.
When the ball landed, he had plenty of time to guide it home from close range.