2018/19 Season Review: April

We conclude our look back on the previous campaign with a review of the final month, which saw Craig Hignett’s men sign-off on a positive note.

Making The Headlines
The Club made public its plans to restructure the Academy following the end of funding, with Chief Executive Mark Maguire saying that bosses would focus “time and resource on the areas which give us the best chance of a return to the EFL”.

In other news, a new kit partner was announced when the Club confirmed that Irish company O’Neills would be coming on board from 2019/20.

Meanwhile, midfield man Paddy McLaughlin secured a permanent move to York City following a successful loan and former star Ritchie Humphreys completed the London Marathon in aid of mental health charity MIND.

High Point
Craig Hignett had been determined that the team should send the Pools faithful into the summer on a positive note as they welcomed promotion-chasing Salford City to The Super 6 Stadium on the final day.

The Ammies knew that a handsome victory in Hartlepool and a slip-up from Leyton Orient could still see them snatch the title and they got off to a great start when Adam Rooney nodded them in front on three minutes.

However, Pools dug their heels in after that and were given a boost just before half-time when Matt Green’s late challenge on Scott Loach resulted in a second yellow card for the Salford star.

It was a moment which turned the game and when Nicky Featherstone started and finished a move to bring the scores level on 50 minutes, Hignett’s men were suddenly flowing with confidence.

Liam Noble then cleverly picked a way through the penalty area to shoot and when his effort was blocked by the keeper, it spilled across the line to Nicke Kabamba who couldn’t miss.

Six minutes later, Pools produced on their goals of the season. A patient move comprising of some 23 passes opened up the City defence and allowed Luke James to rifle in a low shot to make it 3-1.

The visitors did nick one back in stoppage time to give themselves a little hope but the 3-2 scoreline didn’t really do Pools’ dominance justice as they signed off 2018/19 in style.

Low Point
With almost 1,200 Pools fans making the trip to Barrow – the vast majority of whom were dressed as Poolie Knights – it was hoped they would be treated to a memorable performance.

However, for whatever reason, things didn’t ever get going at Holker Street and the home side’s 1-0 victory was well-deserved as Pools delivered one of their sloppiest showings of the season.

The hosts’ triumph came courtesy of a goal worthy of winning any game – Josh Kay came off the bench and executed an incredible overhead kick past Scott Loach with his first touch. It proved the decisive moment.

Goal Of The Month Winner
Justine Robinson made headlines when she became the first female to win the Club’s Goal of the Month prize for her stunning strike in the Women’s Team’s thrashing of Wallsend.

The influential skipper scored four times in the Women’s 7-1 triumph at The Super 6 Stadium and her long-range third made it on to the shortlist and then to the top of the voting for April.

Points Gained: 6
Goals Scored: 6
Starting Position: 13th
Finishing Position: 17th