Hello everyone and welcome to my first Blog in a while hereon the Official Website.
I have decided to make a comeback to the writing ahead of
Saturday's game because clashes with Stockport County bring back so many goodmemories for me – so I thought I would share some with you.
One thing I remember is that we always seemed to have Friday
night game down at Edgeley Park back in my day and one in particular that
stands out in my head is our Good Friday trip there at the end of March 1991.Or as I refer to it now, The Kevin Poole Game.
Our goalkeeper at the time, Brian Cox hadn't been doing too
badly in fairness to him; we were ticking over quite nicely and picking up some
decent results. But the Manager, Alan Murray knew Pooley from Middlesbrough and
when he became available he went straight in for him. He came in on the
Thursday and then made his debut for us on the Friday at Stockport – and he wasabsolutely sensational.
It was a night game but it was just one of those nights where
you sat back afterwards and though: “how well did he play? He was amazing!” We
won the game 3-1 but Pooley was just superb in goal. Don't get me wrong, it was
a great team performance; Joe and Bakes up front were excellent and got the
goals, and we were workmanlike everywhere across the pitch but Pooley was outof this world.
I think it was then, sat in the Edgeley Park dressing room at just after 9.30pm that we thought for the first time that we might have a shot at winning promotion. That was probably the moment where it seemed to be a possibility.
We were the only game that night so winning away at
Stockport who were fourth in the table themselves did us the power of good and
we jumped up to sixth place in the table and there was all of a sudden this bigself-belief growing inside of us.
Confidence was high, we had improved the team with an
exceptional goalkeeper and we'd just won away at a side riding high in the table
– that was really the start of things and we didn't look back very often from thatpoint on our way to promotion.
The other real Stockport memory I have is from a couple of
seasons later at the start of the 1993/94 campaign when we were drawn against them
in the First Round of the League Cup, which was a two-legged affair in thosedays.
We drew 1-1 at Edgeley Park which was a decent enough result
but Kevin Francis scored first at The Vic to give them the upper hand and timewas creeping on as it looked as though we were going to be knocked out.
Then, with 85 minutes on the clock, Mick Tait scored with a
header which brought us back to 2-2 on aggregate. We then shoved Ian McGuckin
up front to try and get the winning goal and I remember he got a flick on at
about the halfway line and it fell in to my path. I just hit it instinctivelyand it flew in to the net from about 45 yards.
It's funny, I have been telling people for years that I had
hit the shot from inside my own half but then in recent times some footage
emerged and it's well inside the Stockport half so I have had to amend the
story! It was still a canny goal though – and in the very last minute to winthe tie!
It's one of my most memorable goals and, ironically, the
Stockport manager that night was Dave Jones. I remember when he was appointed
at Pools I was up at the training ground to see Buster when Dave walked in so
Buster introduced me and said “This is Brian Honour who scored THAT goal in the
League Cup against Stockport!”. Dave looked at me, said “I don't remember it”
and walked out. Fair enough, I guess and that was pretty much a sign of thingsto come with Dave!
We've had some Titanic battles with Stockport over the years
though – Kevin Francis against John MacPhail wasn't a clash for the
faint-hearted. Their manager Jim Gannon was often in the engine room and they
had a great lad from the North-East called Peter Ward in their team too. Goodplayers and good men, it was always a decent game between the sides too.
In fairness, if you look back ten years this fixture was
being played in League One or Two so it's a shame we're now playing it in the NationalLeague but hopefully both clubs are making strides in the right direction now.
Stockport will bring a few to The Vic, I'm sure, and we'll
have a good crowd on Saturday so I think it will be a smashing atmosphere – I'mreally looking forward to it because it's a proper football fixture.
As well as that, it's a big game for both sides too. It's
actually not too dissimilar a situation to where we found ourselves in 1990/91
with this amount of games left. It's the business end of the season and we're
only a few weeks from Easter so it's a pivotal time. If we can hit a run now
like our boys did in 1991 – and we can stop drawing 2-2 every week – then wearen't too far away from those play-off places so you never know.
The Manager has acted quickly this week to bring in some
fresh faces. I know there was disappointment that we've lost a couple but
bringing in new recruits always adds that little spark so I am sure the fans
are looking forward to seeing the new signings involved on Saturday and it justprovides that extra bit of enthusiasm.
Enjoy the game, everyone!
Never Say Die.