After an action-packed February, the pace didn’t slow down as the season entered March – with Pools expected to play catch-up with their fixtures and cram seven games in to the month.
On the first day it was the long trip to Bristol Rovers that awaited Pools but they were on the wrong end of a Memorial Stadium backlash as Darrell Clarke’s men got their promotion chase back on track with a 4-1 win.
Craig Hignett brushed the result off as a bad day at the office and backed his side to recover quickly – but even he must have been surprised at how well they would perform in the weeks to come.
Veteran defender Rob Jones was brought in to help steady the ship and he was handed his debut when Pools travelled to Barnet the following Saturday. Despite falling behind, an incredible double from Lewis Hawkins saw Hignett’s men nudge in front at The Hive before Nathan Thomas added another goal in the second half to secure a 3-1 triumph.
After such a great win it was imperative that Pools followed it up on home soil when they welcomed struggling Dagenham & Redbridge to The Vic seven days later – and they did, thanks to early goals from Billy Paynter and Jake Carroll followed by Jake Gray’s strike in the second half in a 3-1 victory.
Long away journeys to Crawley Town and Newport County were next up for a Pools side whose confidence was quickly on the up and they came home from both with a share of the spoils having battled to back-to-back goalless draws.
Off the field, Jeff Stelling and Pools Chief Executive Russ Green were preparing for a battle of their own as the duo – backed by an army of volunteers – set-off on a 252 mile charity walk from The Vic to Wembley, raising money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK. Click here to watch our video of them leaving The Vic.
And Hignett’s men helped keep their spirits up by enjoying a Good Friday win over AFC Wimbledon at The Vic – this time it was defender Adam Jackson who scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half as Pools climbed eleven points clear of the bottom two.
Their rising belief was underlined in the final game of the month when Leyton Orient – pushing for a place in the play-offs – were put to the sword at Brisbane Road with a classy performance and a 2-0 win, thanks to goals from Billy Paynter and Nathan Thomas.
A busy month of action had produced some stunning results and boss Hignett was among the candidates short-listed for Manager of the Month in League Two – only narrowly beaten by Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke who had guided his team right back in to the automatic promotion picture.
Bristol Rovers 4 Pools 1 – WATCH
Barnet 1 Pools 3 – WATCH
Pools 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 1 – WATCH
Newport County 0 Pools 0 – WATCH
Crawley Town 0 Pools 0 – WATCH
Pools 1 AFC Wimbledon 0 – WATCH
WATCHLeyton Orient 0 Pools 2 -