31st March 1992
Roaring Pool excite in promotion charge.
Hartlepool United 3
Exeter City 1
Match Report By IAN DOVASTON
Hartlepool fans chanted "going up, going up" as the perennial joke club in the Football League's pack edged ever closer to the Third Division play-off placings at the Victoria Ground last night. Alan Ball's Exeter fell like a house of cards as Pool ace Paul Dalton hit them with a magnificent double strike and substitute Nicky Southall flew in for a third with his first touch of the game. Keeper Martin Hodge also played a hero's role as the home team stretched an impressive run to five wins in their last six games. Dalton's first -and Brian Honour's 30 yard right-flank ball to provide the opportunity would have graced any soccer stage the world over. Dropping his left shoulder, Dalton adroitly threw off the attentions of two backtracking defenders. He raced to the edge of the box to unleash a breathtaking low drive that swept unstoppably past keeper Kevin Miller. Dalton's second, on 59 minutes, found the perfect mix of skilful opportunism and good fortune. He struck a curling ball from 18 yards that span in the mud underneath the keeper and into the net. It was Dalton's sweet striking of the ball that made the third. His left- flank free-kick to the far post was met on the head by Nicky Southall, who had only entered the fray two minutes earlier. The consolation eight minutes from time- an Andy Morris (photo) shot deselected past the dependable Hodge by unlucky Keith Nobbs- was one of a batch of close range opportunites.
Hartlepool United: United: (4-4-2)
Hodge: Tinkler. Nobbs. McGuckin Cross. Honour. Ollson, McCreery (Southall. 59). Dalton, Johnrose. Thomas.
Exeter City: (4-4-2)
Miller. Hiley, Daniels, Whiston, Cook. (Morris, 49), Kelly: Thompstone Hilaire. Brown. Wimbleton (Marshall, 46). Moran.
Dalton (1-0, 45); Dalton (2-0, 59): Southall (3-0, 61). Morris (3-1, 82).
Exeter: Daniels (foul).
Referee: Bob Nixon (Wirral)