It was in a bad run of form (see beginning of season post), when Pools beat West Brom. Perfect timing, some fans might say. In the end, it seems to have instigated a new found form and confidence.
Hartlepool had been on the receiving end of a snatch and grab act at home against Stockport, the cup game followed against Premier opposition… fans thought we were in for a mugging.
Hartlepool United, lowly League 1 minnows, welcomed Premier League side West Brom to their shack of a stadium Victoria Park with hopes of a good performance. With no pressure, manager Danny Wilson had admitted that “the score didn’t matter”. The players, fresh from a snatch and grab act that Stockport had inflicted, were expected to get mauled. West Brom put out a good side, full of internationals and big money players. New signing Valero was blooded but was quiet in a blood and thunder clash that a new powder puff midfielder couldn’t cope with. After taking the lead through Aussie striker Joel Porter, pressure was strong from the premier visitors and in the 87th minute Koren scored a blistering drive from 25 yards.
In extra time, Pools were expected to roll over and die. Instead they put two more goals past West Brom and surged into the next round and a real champagne moment. Richard Barker and tiny David Foley with the goals. A cup shock that defines the romances of David vs Goliath.
In the following game, a tricky away day to Peterborough, Pools managed to perform a snacth and grab act themselves. Scoring two goals in three minutes, both mistakes on Peterborough’s part, and winning 2-1. Hartlepool had now found some signified form and could look forward.
The next round draw arrived and Pools were dreaming of a cup “biggie” and Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool or… Middlesbrough. Instead a trip to the horrible Elland Road, home of the horrible Leeds United. The draw we didn’t want… the draw we got. Perfect.
On a side note, Pools have banned the two biggest local papers from publishing photos after a commercial dispute. The Hartlepool Mail and The Northern Echo were forced into cartoon pictures of Hartlepool’s victories against Peterborough and West Brom. It is sad state of affairs that didn’t need to come around. Hartlepool had been boosted by once again being one of the clubs that didn’t pay greedy agent’s fees.
Pools now go into a little run of games against Leicester and Milwall hoping to continue current form. On all parts, it’s been a decent start to the season. When our next three games are over, I will post once again to give you the update on all things Pools.