Our review of the last campaign reaches December and things take a turn for the worse on and off the pitch at Victoria Park.
Pools opened the final month of 2017 with the visit of pace-setters Macclesfield Town and things were going well when Michael Woods steered home the first goal of the game six minutes before the break.
However, Craig Harrison’s men pressed the self-destruct button by conceding two sloppy goals in the closing five minutes to leave a gloomy atmosphere hanging over Victoria Park.
It didn’t get much better the following weekend when Dover Athletic dished out a 4-0 thumping which was compounded by a late sending-off for Nicky Deverdics – it came as cold comfort that the midfielder’s red card would be quashed upon appeal.
Some respite from the First Team action was brought about by the Youth Team who welcomed Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool to The Vic in the FA Youth Cup. The Anfield outfit took an early lead but Pools hit back quickly to level through Jacob Owen only for the visitors to show their class and end up running out 5-1 winners.
There was a break from the National League in mid-December as all eyes turned to Pools’ first involvement in the FA Trophy – but it turned to disaster as a late goal condemned Harrison’s men to a damaging 1-0 defeat at Workington.
Off the pitch big-hearted boss Craig Harrison and his wife Danielle had arranged an incredible Christmas party at The Vic for a selection of youngsters from across the town – it even included party food and a visit from Santa who provided them all with a special gift!
As the Club’s owners issued a statement appealing for fresh investment, Maidenhead United were welcomed to The Vic. Jake Cassidy fired Pools in front in the first half but, in familiar fashion, the lead was surrendered after the break and the visitors left with all three points and a 2-1 win.
Over 2,000 Pools fans then made the trip to Gateshead for the Boxing Day game and it turned out to be a cracker. Liam Donnelly put Pools in front from the penalty spot after a foul on Rhys Oates but the game turned on 41 minutes when Blair Adams was sent-off for a second yellow card and then Scott Barrow drilled the hosts level. The Gateshead full-back scored an almost identical goal early in the second half which looked like being the winner until Michael Woods got on the end of a neat Pools move to convert and secure a share of the spoils.
The year was due to be rounded-off with a trip to Chester but the weather intervened and the game was called-off to leave Pools sitting 18th in the National League at the turn of the year.
National League Table