MOORE’S MAGIC KEEPS POOLS UP
RONNIE Moore has produced a mini-miracle by keeping Hartlepool United in the Football League.
Bottom of the table from October to March, and ten points adrift in January, Moore has engineered a remarkable turnaround.
Pools’ win over Exeter and defeats for Tranmere and Cheltenham mean the relegation issue at the foot of the table is resolved with a game to go.
The former Tranmere chief admitted he had sympathy for his old club, after they sacked him last year amid an FA charge of betting irregularities.
But now his old club has gone and his current one is safe.
Pools’ game ended before the others were over and Moore had an anxious wait before the celebrations could really start.
“I asked before anything was going on and people said both had lost,” he said.“I was made up and then you can look like a right pratt! It was only in the tunnel we found they were still playing, it was neve-wracking!
“But the Gods were smiling on us, it’s a tremendous achievement from everyone. Sam (Collins, assistant) and me have a great understanding.
“It’s unreal, the staff are fantastic and they all support Hartlepool.
“But it’s, for me, as a manager, you can’t better that. We are celebrating not going down, and really you want to celebrate at the other end.
“It’s outstanding. I’ve the same feeling as back to back promotions with Rotherham, but this tops it.’’
Pools took the lead in a vibrant first-half display when striker Scott Fenwick bustled his way into the penalty area and fired low across goalkeeper James Hamon, as Victoria Park erupted.
The crowd, however, were soon silenced as the Grecians – play-off contenders going into the game – levelled.
Pools concede a needless corner, escaped when Scott Flinders saved a goalbound Graham Cummins header, but from the second delivery the same player was again unmarked to plant home a firm header.
Moore’s side didn’t crumble and kept their immense workrate up.
Midfielder Aaron Tshibola won possession, fed Jordan Hugill and the loanee from Preston clipped home from inside the area right on half-time.
The Grecians had plenty of the ball in the second-half, but didn’t trouble Flinders and, with centre- half Scott Harrison immense, they never got in behind the back four.
Pools couldn’t find that vital third which would have eased nerves and tension, but the party will long go on in the town.
Visiting boss Paul Tisdale said: “We were playing against a team fighting for their lives and we knew it would be a game of mistakes. I was hoping they would make them and not us.
“We played pretty well, but there were mistakes in the side that cost us. But all in all, I have no complaints. I know what we have to improve on next year.
“Being practical, we've come up short.”
HEADING HIGH: Graham Cummins scoreds for Exeter HOLD ME BACK: Harlepool’s Scott Fenwick can’t believe he has scored