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Word Of Honour: The Kevin Poole Game

24 January 2020

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 good

memories 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 was

absolutely 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 out

of 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 big

self-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 that

point 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 those

days.

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 time

was 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 instinctively

and 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 win

the 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 things

to 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. Good

players 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 National

League 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'm

really 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 we

aren'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 just

provides that extra bit of enthusiasm.

Enjoy the game, everyone!

Never Say Die.

Brian.


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