Hi all and welcome back to yet another edition of this Hartlepool story and I’m glad to put people out of their misery and tell them how my season finished so quickly. We are now in the final two months of the season and hoping that we can nick one of the two promotion places that were still up for grabs. With five games in all this month it was time to get the kit dirty and pull those socks up for a final push.
V Brighton (a) 2nd April 2011
The first game of this final part of the season was up against Brighton at The Withdean Stadium like the few matches and the next upcoming game this was a must win match.
Two more goals from top-scorer Haris Vuckic sent us back to Victoria Park with all three points. The first being a penalty after a foul on Donaldson and the second was a typical Vuckic goal being in the right place at the right time to slot the ball from a few yards out.
V Southampton (h) 9th April 2011
This has to be the biggest game of the season and it will go some way to deciding whether or not I am going to have to get promoted though the play-offs or get the automatic promotion spot.
Luckily for me it was the latter and we are now putting real pressure on Southampton to get some results and hold onto that 2nd place. A goal from Ryan Donaldson just before half time was enough to get the three points. The momentum was swinging towards Pools.
V Colchester (a) 16th April 2011
Next up was Colchester United and I again was looking for yet another win to increase this pressure on Southampton.
It took until the 87th minute for us to equalise as Colchester had taken the lead though a penalty in the 43rd minute of the match. Donaldson had a blistering start to the season but had not had the best second half of the season but just seems to get the important goals that I needed. Southampton also only managed to get a draw so we still had a big chance.
V Sheff Wed (h) 25th April 2011
With just three games to go I just had to get maximum points both us and Southampton were on 87 points. I could stress how big this game was for the season and I certainly let the players know that.
They certainly knew that this was an important game but they didn’t show it until late on. We managed to go in at half time 1-0 up thanks to an injury time at the end of the first half goal from Vuckic but in the 57th minute Sheff Utd equalised and from then on looked the more likely team to win this match. With 3 minutes to go Ryan Donaldson got yet another important goal to make it 2-1 and sent the Hartlepool fans mad. It got better as we ended up winning 3-1 when Yantorno scored a break-away goal and I heard that Southampton lost to Swindon it was back in my sights.
V Bristol Rovers (a) 30th April 2011
The last away game of the season and I could all but secure a place if results go my way but I had to concentrate on this game first.
I couldn’t believe what I saw at half-time as the performance of a few months back came at the worst possible time and we lost the game 3-1 and we were never in it for the first 70 minutes and by that time we were 2-0 down and Kuffour made it 3-0 five minutes later. We did manage to get a late conciliation goal but we had still lost 3-1 and to make it worse Southampton had picked up all three points at bottom club Millwall. It was going to be one hell of a finish to the season.
One game to go
This was how close it was going into the final game of the season and I was really nervous with just one goal separating the two teams. This means that even if I won I might even not finish in second place.
V Leyton Orient (h) 7th April 2011
The final game of the season was here and if I were to just win the game well I would be playing championship football next season.
I had calmed down by half-time when I was 3-0 up but I still was slightly on edge as I would put it past my team to completely buckle and end up dropping points. We did managed to hold and we could now celebrate as next season we would be play Championship football.
End of Season Results
A great set of result and it was back to the Hartlepool from the start of the season and the side that had taken them to the top of the table in December. I was so thrilled for the players and I cannot wait to see them play against championship sides. I had certainly put though a rollercoaster ride over the last season but I enjoyed every minute of it and I’m sure we will be fine next season after a few arrivals.
After the scare of the last few months it was a brilliant turnaround to get the final promotion spot and it good to get it in such dramatic fashion. I was relieved as I would have been massively disappointed if we were going to have to fight it out in League 1 again. Championship here we come!!!
Performance of the Month
I would say that the 3-1 win against Leyton Orient was the performance of the month as it was a game where we needed to win in order to get 2nd place and it would put a lot of pressure on my players they came out and relished the opportunity and came out comfortable winners.
Thanks for reading
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