Hartlepool Cheer

You may remember me posting about Hartlepool United’s FA Cup loss to non-league Blyth Spartans back in December. Even then their plight looked pretty desperate but in early March it was worse. The club looked doomed to be relegated to the Conference. Rooted to the bottom of the English League Two table for what had felt like months they were ten or so points behind the second bottom side. Since then the turn round – no doubt inspired by new manager Ronnie Moore – has been remarkable.

As I write today, even yet Hartlepool have won only twelve league games all season – out of a total of forty-five. Five of these though were in the last eight. A run of four successive wins on the 14th, 17th, 21th and 28th of the month and a draw in the first game in April took them from dead last to third bottom. Football can be amazing at times. And Saturday’s 2-1 win over Exeter City combined with losses for both Cheltenham and Tranmere Rovers confirmed that the club would stay in the Football League for at least another season. Was there dancing in the streets of Hartlepool do you think?

I feel a bit sad for Tranmere Rovers who have been members of the Football League for over 90 years but Hartlepool hold a greater place in my affections. Cheltenham are more Johnny-come-lately in this respect.

I hope this relief isn’t short-lived and a measure of success (rather than avoiding failure) awaits next season but given the history outlined in my December post I wouldn’t discount another struggle against relegation. The heady days of vying for promotion to, and competitivenes in, League One seem long ago now.

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