How the mighty fell! Pools battered their opposition to belie their lowly league position

The scoreline said 1-0 but the action in this match suggested otherwise.

By Chris Cordner
Friday, 22 March, 2019, 10:00
Ken Ellis goes on the attack at a Victoria Ground match watched by more than 6,000 fans.

It was top against bottom at the Victoria Ground as lowly Pools took on high fliers Scunthorpe, but the visitors soon found out that Hartlepool were much better than their placing.

As the Mail reporter at the time said: “Today’s game produced some of the most tremendous football of the season and Hartlepool supplied a good 80 per cent of it.

Bill Green joins the attack with this effort from a Neil Warnock corner.

“One of the best defences Hartlepool have met weathered some terrific pressure at the start of each half as Hartlepool pressed for the goal they deserved so much.

“At times, they did everything but score and there were some amazing escapes for Scunthorpe in the middle of the second half as shot after shot was cleared on the line or saved by goalkeeper Barnard.”

Yet this feast of football was played in terrible weather and saw Pools field the same team which had put five past Bradford days earlier.

It wasn’t long before Pools took control of the game with Warnock, Veart and Green involved in the early action.

Ellis went close when his effort was cleared off the Scunthorpe line and he went close again when a header went just wide.

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Waddell sent one shot over the top and it wasn’t until the 27th minute that Scunthorpe relieved the pressure with a corner of their own.

It was a rare moment of hope for the visitors who were pinned back time and time again. Yet by half time, they were still on level terms at 0-0.

The second half started in similar fashion with Veart going clear and shooting narrowly wide. And on 63 minutes, it was bedlam in the Scunthorpe area as Veart, Young and Smith all took shots on goal in one move whuich eventually went out for a corner.

Barnard then blocked an effort from Green and the follow-up effort from Ellis was cleared on the line.

Our reporter said: “How Scunthorpe survived some of those raids only they will know.”

Time was ticking away when a free kick was floated into the Scunthorpe box on 85 minutes. The defence failed to clear it but Waddell’s header went straight to Barnard.

And just as if it seemed the match would be drawn, Pools went on the attack again two minutes from time. Waddell sent in a cross and Young was there to prod the ball home at the far post.

Yet there was still time for Scunthorpe to press and for Kirk to send in a strong angled shot which just went wide.