Times were hard. With the COVID-19 pandemic still troubling the world it meant little over 3,000 supporters could make the trip to Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium, but it was a trip that will live with those supporters for a lifetime.
The scores were level in terms of victories between Pools and Torquay United that season after Dave Challinor’s side avenged a Halloween horror show with a clinical 1-0 victory at Plainmoor in March.
But neither side could muster up enough to dislodge Sutton United from the National League title as both would have to settle for a spot in the play-offs.
Pools brushed aside Bromley at the Suit Direct Stadium before a hard-fought win over Stockport County booked their spot in the final.
And when Luke Armstrong gave Pools a first half lead, supporters began dreaming of a return to the Football League.
But in the most dramatic of circumstances, Torquay goalkeeper Lucas Covolan grabbed a 95th minute equaliser to send the tie into extra-time before, ultimately, a place in the Football League would be decided by a penalty shootout.
Step forward Brad James and the rest, as they say, is history.
But just in case you needed reminding, here are some of the best pictures from a truly memorable afternoon at Ashton Gate as Pools clinched promotion.