Terrace Thoughts 23, 22/03/2019

After the Barnet match last week (I love their Away Fans bar!) we found a pub to watch the Wolves v Manchester United FA Cup match and, I guess, like the majority of the neutrals, we were rooting for Wolves, the supposed underdogs.

Anyway, with the help of a few good beers it was a great game with the right result. The match, of course, got us to talking about Pools versus Wolves and Manchester United.

I’ve previously talked about the famous FA Cup match on 5 January 1957 and the 6-0 pre-season demolition of Fergie’s boys in 1988 in Terrace Thoughts 9 of 7 December 2018, so let’s focus on Pools and Wolves.

The great Gus McLean, who of course managed Pools to promotion, played 144 games for Wolves between 1939 and 1951, ex-Wolves player Paul Butler played 9 times for Pools during the 1987/ 88 season and Gordon Simms, who made 22 appearances for Pools between 2001 and 2002, had been bought by Wolves for £40,000 from Larne – but never played for them.

And let us not forget ‘our very own’ Jake Cassidy played 20 games for Wolves between 2010 and 2015 (a period during which he also went out on loan to Tranmere – three times – Notts County and Southend)………

And will Luca Murphy move to Wolves in the near future?

As for matches against Wolves, well, it’s not a pretty record. Six played, five defeats and one draw.

We played them twice in Division Three (North) during the 1923/ 24 season:

8 December 1923 Home 0-1
11 February 1924 Away 2-1

Wolves finished top that season – Pools were second bottom (beating Barrow on goal difference) and Durham City were 15th, 14 points better off than Pools. The Pools goal was scored by Cecil Hardy, an inside left who played 159 times (scoring 57 goals) for us between 1920 and 1928, whilst also working full time down Blackhall pit. Respect.

Wolves returned to League Division 4 between 1986 and 1988 and we played them four times:

13 December 1986 Home 0-1
9 May 1987 Away 4-1

Wolves ended the season in 4th (20 points behind champions, Northampton Town); we were 18th. Kevin Dixon scored only our second ever goal against Wolves – Kevin had three spells with Pools between 1983 and 1988, scoring 42 times in 158 appearances and was always a player who I enjoyed watching.

12 December 1987 Home 0-0
2 May 1988 Away 2-0

Wolves won the League this year by 5 points (Cardiff City were second) and we languished in 16th. It is interesting (and frustrating in a way) to look at who we played during the 1987/ 88 season – Wolves, Cardiff, Bolton, Swansea, Peterborough, Burnley, Colchester to name a few of the more successful clubs; and, in comparison, Darlington, Hereford, Halifax and Wrexham – who we welcome back to Fortress Vic tomorrow. And let’s hope for a big crowd – given both the pricing gesture from the club and the promotion hopes of the visitors.

Back to Barnet – a much better afternoon than the televised debacle earlier in the season (I talked about that embarrassment in Terrace Thoughts 6 of 23 November 2018 and don’t want to think about it again) and, whilst Wrexham are doing well, their recent stumbles and our better organisation make me relatively confident about tomorrow.

Will we see ex-Poolies Nicky Deverdics and Brad Walker tomorrow? I always rated Brad: didn’t he almost move to Wolves? My fear is of a late Deverdics header (after two strikes from Luke James in the first half)….….

I’ve previously talked about the great work of the Wrexham Supporters Trust and I’m sure that the HUST Board will use tomorrow’s match as an opportunity to grill the travelling WST board members about their successes to date, and the challenges which they still face…..

And this gets me to my quick-fire final points:

1. John’s football website of the week – Wrexham Supporters Trust – I particularly like the simplicity of their ‘Build The Budget’ section – and the club members’ poll on next season’s shirts. As ever, ideas for both HUST and HUFC to think about.

2. Age is like the newest version of a software – it has a bunch of great new features but you’ve lost all the cool features which the original version had.

3. Whilst travelling back from Barnet last Sunday (after what turned out to be a challenging evening in the ale houses of Peckham) I happened across a piece by Craig Hope – dated 8 August 2014 on MailOnline – about how Colin Cooper’s squad for the 2014/ 2015 season was comprised entirely of Englishmen. The squad was as follows:

Scott Flinders – 28 – Goalkeeper – Rotherham

Andy Rafferty – 26 – Goalkeeper – Sidcup

Stuart Parnaby – 32 – Right back – Durham

Michael Duckworth – 22 – Right back – Germany

Neil Austin – 31 – Centre back – Barnsley

Matthew Bates – 27 – Centre back – Stockton

Sam Collins – 37 – Centre back – Pontefract

Dan Jones – 19 – Centre back – Sedgefield

Darren Holden – 20 – Left back – South Africa

Jonathan Franks – 24 – Midfield – Stockton

Jordan Richards – 21 – Midfield – Sunderland

Connor Smith – 17 – Midfield – Stockton

Brad Walker – 18 – Midfield – Billingham – now with tomorrow’s visitors.

Josh Rowbotham – 20 – Midfield – Stockton

Lewis Hawkins – 21 – Midfield – Middlesbrough – probably on our bench tomorrow.

Jack Compton – 25 – Left wing – Cardiff

Marlon Harewood – 34 – Striker – London

Luke James – 19 – Striker – Amble – will score at least two tomorrow.

Craig argued that Michael, Darren and Jack were English as, whilst they were born outside England, they were born to English parents. It was no surprise that this initiated discussion about our current squad – given that Paddy McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) and Jake Cassidy (Wales) are out on loan, isn’t our current squad pretty much ‘all English’? Well no – Gavan Holohan is from The Republic of Ireland, David Edgar is Canadian and Peter Kioso is a DR Congo national. Ryan Catterick is English or from The Republic of Ireland dependent on which website you use! So, the squad is largely English, but does now have an interesting international flavour to it.

What was noticeable about Cooper’s squad, however, was how many of them were pretty local to Hartlepool. Will that be the way forward as budgets are trimmed? And why wasn’t Dan Jones the success that he should have been?

4. Last week I mentioned the dialogue between HUST and The Mariner’s Trust – this generated some negative comments, which I simply do not understand, but was also picked up as an example of good practice by Supporter’s Direct – who then also commented positively on a tweet from HUST about meeting with other trusts – so credit (again) to the board of HUST (who we should remember, are trying on our behalf, in their own time!).

5. The demise of North Ferriby United on 15 March was both tragic for all of those involved, and a timely reminder to all followers of other clubs of the risks involved in reliance on individuals as owners.

6. Gateshead FC Soul Supporters Association was officially launched last night (21 March) in Pelaw Social Club – good luck to everyone involved in the fight to retain Gateshead FC in its current guise – or something very similar to it.

7. Any news on the next Fans Forum? Let’s hope to read something soon on the HUST website.

So, do I go to The Causeway, The Brewery Tap or The Hops and Cheese before going to The Corner Flag tomorrow? Or all of them?

Pip Pip

John

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