Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Promotion Party Leaves a Bitter Taste

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pool Promotion Party Leaves a Bitter Taste

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

On the day Meat Loaf threw his considerable weight behind Mike Newell's Hartlepool there was only one dead ringer for promotion.

Scunthorpe have yet to guarantee a play-off place but on this form the Second Division beckons for Brian Laws' party-poopers.

So much for a celebration, muttered Meat. If surprise backing from the biggest man in rock was not surreal enough then picture an ice-cold Glanford Park minutes after the full-time whistle.

Newell's side had been pummelled but promotion was in the bag. A few miles away, on the other side of the Humber, Hull had beaten Bournemouth, ensuring Pool's result was academic.

Their fans were unsure as to whether they should laugh or cry. Many chose the latter and, highlighting the fickle nature of the fan, began calling for Newell's head.

They really know how to party, those raucous Poolies, said one Scunny wag.

Perhaps the away supporters should have anticipated such a crushing anti-climax under the gravel skies of Scunthorpe.

Good Friday's glimpse of summer was gone as a bitter wind rolled off the North Sea and settled over the halfway line.

These were no conditions for a footballing shindig but Glanford Park is no glittering marquee. Tight, tidy and sporadically partisan, the home of The Iron can be daunting.

From the moment Kevin Henderson missed an open goal, the gloating home fans sensed an upset.

Eight minutes after the Ashington-born striker's miss, man of the match Paul Hayes latched on to Paul Dalglish's pass and slid a powerful shot under Tony Williams.

Cue music, dancing and celebration. The party had started but not for Pool.

Meatloaf must have been tearing his hair out as he followed every kick from his five-star London suite. The man who would do anything for love draws the line at shivering in North Lincolnshire. …

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