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  1. MadJohn

    FA Cup 22/23

    Ben Killip had, in his words, "probably the best game of his career". That, and some indifferent finishing, separated us from a rout as they ran past our flat defence at will. If you replayed that game ten times, with those chances, I reckon we'd lose by 2-3 goals in almost all of them. We...
  2. MadJohn

    Tuesday 16th August

    The game against Tranmere six months ago is the only time in the last NINETEEN home league games that Hartlepool have scored the opening goal. And even that was a Peter Clarke own goal. We really do need to do something to turn our wretched Vic form around. It seems so long ago that we had...
  3. MadJohn

    Saturday 13th August

    I've been thinking that for years (and years... and years...) It's a curious one, as it's not as if the two clubs have always been horribly mismatched. Northampton's record up here isn't a great deal better, with Pools having won 24 of the 35 fixtures. Graham Carr's 80s team didn't win here...
  4. MadJohn

    Saturday 13th August

    Few fixtures on the calendar scream "home banker" as much as Northampton vs Hartlepool. We have managed just six draws there in the 28 visits since our only win there way back in 1969. Nothing about the two squads gives me much hope that things will improve on Saturday.
  5. MadJohn

    League Cup 22/23

    Nine Championship sides played lower division opponents last night. All nine were knocked out. I can't see us adding to that remarkable tally tonight. Blackburn will be overwhelming favourites and I think they'll put us away by a couple..
  6. MadJohn

    Feigning a head injury while defending; a new tactic.

    Fans have been blaming "gamesmanship" and "shithousery" for their team's failure to win for as long as I can remember. Can't see it changing any time soon.
  7. MadJohn

    Preseason Friendlies 22/23

    Having barely been able to field a team against Hibs in Portugal, we have now cancelled our planned friendly at St Mirren on Tuesday. In a reflection of this summer's transfer activity, this friendly has now gone to another club in our division. Northampton will get to experience the delights...
  8. MadJohn

    Final League matches of season: - 7th May 2020

    It was unfortunate for Northampton that Scunthorpe had such an inexperienced side out in Bristol. We played them a week ago and it was the youngest opposition eleven Hartlepool had faced in a Football League match, certainly since WW2, perhaps ever. (We couldn't beat them of course, dogshit...
  9. MadJohn

    Final League matches of season: - 7th May 2020

    I still have happy memories of the last day of 1990/91, the tightest title/promotion race we've ever been involved in. With four automatic promotion spots up for grabs, Darlington began the day top of the pile on 80 points, with Blackpool, Stockport, Peterborough, and Pools all on 79. I love...
  10. MadJohn

    Easter Monday: 18th March 2022

    There's been a lot of hasty rewriting of history on our facebook groups etc., with several claiming that "all Poolies would have been happy with 22nd", which, going by the predictions kicking around last summer, is arrant nonsense. Predictions were varied, but with more tipping a playoff tilt...
  11. MadJohn

    Week ending 2nd April

    Hartlepool support holding up very impressively indeed considering some of the frustrating stuff that's been served up in the last few months of league matches. There was a time in the dim and distant past (2021) when our home record was among the best in the country/continent/solar system...
  12. MadJohn

    Week ending 2nd April

    Lee's home league record is 3-6-2. He was unbeaten until the Bradford game but too many draws, especially against teams near the bottom (Scunthorpe, Oldham, Orient, and Stevenage) The main concern is our slow starts. Having scored the opening goal in each of first five home league games under...
  13. MadJohn

    Week ending 2nd April

    Hartlepool United have earned more points this season from games in which we've conceded first, than from games in which we've scored first. Bonkers.
  14. MadJohn

    Week ending 26th March

    The archetypal routine home win. We weren't bad, but we weren't good enough. Northampton were perfectly competent, did what they needed to do, took the points. On to Tuesday and a meeting with last season's POTY and top scorer.
  15. MadJohn

    Week ending 26th March

    Chesterfield in this case were disguised as Grimsby (Holohan) and Stockport (Francis-Angol, loan), but the same applies.
  16. MadJohn

    Week ending 26th March

    Northampton v Hartlepool is generally one of the biggest home bankers on the calendar. Pools tend to win their home fixtures against them but lose away. We haven't won in Northampton since 1969, and have taken just six points from the 27 visits since then. We all know what happens next...
  17. MadJohn

    Fri & Sat 18th/19th March

    Pools surprised me tonight, but they've suprised me so often that I shouldn't be surprised. This is not a strong division and, with the possible exception of Forest Green, nobody's any good, not really. Our season is over, but it's good to see that we're still putting the yards in. We should...
  18. MadJohn

    Your club's natural level

    We're tier 4, and when I turn up at the start of yet another tier 4 season I usually expect to see Rochdale, Exeter, Northampton, and Scunthorpe waiting for us. Never surprised to see Mansfield or Carlisle pop in, and Colchester seem to be becoming regulars again after a few years of drinking...
  19. MadJohn

    Fri & Sat 18th/19th March

    Based on the performances in our last two home games, I see nothing other than a comfortable Newport win tonight. Maybe not a hammering, but something like a routine 2-0 with the result never in doubt.
  20. MadJohn

    Tuesday 15th March

    Dull tonight, but not as dull as Saturday, which was up there with the most tedious two hours I've spent anywhere this year. And I live in Hartlepool. I get the need to try to rest and rotate with 4 games in 9 days, but that was one weak midfield, and we made it easy for a Bradford side who...