On this day in 1991: Darlington 4 Hartlepool United 0

The scorers were Lee Ellison (2), Dugald McCarrison and John MacPhail (og)

Darlington's Dugald McCarrison takes the ball past Hartlepool United's John MacPhail. Picture: The Northern Echo

Darlington demolished Hartlepool United at Feethams on this day in 1991.

Dugald McCarrison and Lee Ellison tormented Hartlepool’s static rearguard and Ian Bennyworth was taken off at half-time when it was 3-0, presumably to spare him further punishment.

The central defender was turned this way and that by McCarrison while Ellison’s clinical finishing and the ability to lose his marker made the result a formality.

Nick Pickering’s cross was inch perfect for Ellison, who slammed the ball past Martin Hodge for the first goal after ten minutes and worse was to come for the visitors.

John MacPhail tried a back-pass, but Hodge appeared to hesitate and when he’d seen the danger it was too late, making it 2-0 with 20 minutes gone.

McCarrison, on loan from Celtic, made a fine impression during his spell in the North-East and he got on the scoresheet six minutes before half-time, turning Bennyworth before rolling the ball inside the far post.

Hartlepool’s David Johnson tested Darlington goalkeeper Mark Prudhoe early in the second period, but it was easy enough for The Quakers defence who held out with little further alarm.

Ellison’s second goal was a touch of class. Kevan Smith put over a far post cross, Ellison resisted the temptation to blast it first time instead trapped the ball and calmly placed his shot wide of Hodge.

The Northern Echo’s Nick Helliwell wrote: “The margin scarcely reflects Darlington’s overwhelming superiority on a day when hapless Hartlepool occasionally threatened but never penetrated.”

Quakers boss Frank Gray said: “It was our best display of the season over 90 minutes and I was particularly pleased by the way we defended in the second half. We got back to the good habits of last season, restricting chances and reading the game.”

Pools boss Alan Murray reflected: “Several players are on the transfer list, but I’m not saying who they are. When you’re paying out wages you expect something in return. I’m quite disgusted with the display. We played without moral courage and simply didn’t perform.”

Darlington: Prudhoe, McJannet, Cook, Pickering, Smith, Gill, Hamilton, Toman, Ellison, McCarrison, Tait. Subs (not used): Borthwick, Cork

Hartlepool United: Hodge, Nobbs, McKinnon, Tinkler, MacPhail, Bennyworth (McCreery 45), Southall (R Gabbiadini 45), Olsson, Johnson, Honour, Dalton.

Attendance: 5,041

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