Our monthly review of last season moves in to a dramatic February as things changed in the Victoria Park dugout.
Deadline Day landed on 1st February and boss Ronnie Moore worked hard behind the scenes with Chairman Gary Coxall to try and add some fresh faces to the squad.
There was a breakthrough when Josh Laurent was brought in on a free transfer from Brentford, while fans were also given the news that Luke James was back at Pools on loan from Peterborough United.
More positive news came when both Carl Magnay and Billy Paynter returned to action in the Reserves after injury, while it was announced that Michael Duckworth’s stunning strike at Carlisle last May had been short-listed for the EFL’s Goal of 2015.
Some things didn’t change thought and the trip to face Notts County at Meadow Lane was called-off when more heavy rain in Nottingham meant a late postponement, leaving Moore frustrated.
Instead, the next game was at home to Stevenage who were kept at bay by a pair of incredible saves from Trevor Carson until the stroke of half time when Tom Conlon fired them in front.
The Stevenage man scored again just after the break to make it 2-0 to the visitors and, although Billy Paynter pulled one back on his return, the away side left with all three points.
Moore declared himself “devastated” with the result and the following day the decision was taken that he would part company with the Club after just over a year in charge.
Chairman Coxall acted quickly to identify a replacement and Craig Hignett was installed as Moore’s successor and he was introduced to the press in time to be in the dugout for the weekend’s home game against Yeovil Town.
With The Glovers down there near the bottom of the table too it was a big game for the Club and, thankfully, goals from Paynter and Adam Jackson secured a 2-1 win and three crucial points.
The following Tuesday Notts County were the visitors to The Vic and the game was preceded by a minute’s silence following the terrible news of BBC Tees presenter Ali Brownlee’s death.
The Magpies were quick out of the blocks and raced two goals in front inside a quarter-hour. Pools pulled themselves together after the break to draw level from Jake Gray and Billy Paynter, only for Jon Stead to win it for County ten minutes from the end.
A trip to Luton Town always looked a daunting prospect but Pools seemed on course for a point when Adam Jackson cancelled out Cameron McGeehan’s penalty but again a late goal did for Hignett’s side as The Hatter’s scored on 86 minutes to win 2-1.
The busy month was rounded-off with a visit from Champions-elect Northampton Town who arrived on the hottest of hot streaks, having won ten games on the spin prior to their Pools trip.
Pools gave as good as they got against The Cobblers but neither side could find a way through so the points were shared and Hignett was happy to see progress being made.
Pools 1 Stevenage 2 – WATCH
Pools 2 Yeovil Town 1 – WATCH
Pools 2 Notts County 3 – WATCH
Luton Town 2 Pools 1 – WATCH
WATCHPools 0 Northampton Town 0 -