It started as a question of whether Nigel Clough would write more headlines in the one competition his father never won. Two hours later it was all about Neale Cooper hoping to bring down another of Clough Snr's former clubs.
There is to be no FA Cup fairytale for now for one of football's most famous families. Instead of Burton Albion v Nottingham Forest or Derby County, it's Sunderland v Hartlepool.
Victory went to the better side, just, in a robust tie at Eton Park. For the vanquished, it's back to attempting to pick up enough points to mount a challenge for the Nationwide Conference play-offs.
How Brian Clough, a host of cameras trained on him in the directors' box, would have loved seeing "our Nigel" sending his players out at the Stadium of Light. He vowed "101 per cent" support to Burton in an interview for their Clough the Magic Dragon fanzine, despite the presence of the club who gave him his first managerial break. It is doubtful he could have been any more excited by a trip to Wearside, though, than the Hartlepool camp now are.
"Fantastic! We couldn't have wished for a better draw for the area," Cooper said. "Three or four of the boys are Sunderland fans and were brought up there. I couldn't hear our name read out during the draw because of all the cheers."
A national newspaper survey once named Burton as the second smelliest town in Britain. On a raw Sunday lunchtime there was a more intoxicating whiff - of blood belonging to the Second Division's fifth-placed club. Hartlepool were tested by a number of crosses and corners and reprieved just before half-time when Dale Anderson took the ball round keeper Jim Provett and just too wide to get in a shot. They were also uncomfortable for 20 minutes after the break but recovered to create the game's best chances.
Having had Eifion Williams ridiculously booked for diving when a penalty award would have been more appropriate, they squandered one-on-one openings through Mark Tinkler and Paul Robinson. In between, though, came Joel Porter's 70th minute tap-in following a Tinkler run that caught out a square defence. That proved enough to see Hartlepool into round three for the first time in 11 years.
Goal: Porter (70) 0-1.
Burton Albion (4-5-1): Duke; Henshaw, Wassell, Chettle, Webster; Dudley, Stride, Howard, Kirkwood, Colkin (Talbot, 76); Anderson (Ducros, 88). Substitutes not used: Williams, Robinson (gk), Clough.
Hartlepool (4-4-2): Provett; Barron, Nelson, Westwood, Robson; Byrne (P Robinson, 60), Strachan, Tinkler, Humphreys; Williams, Porter (Wilkinson, 77). Substitutes not used: Clarke, Craddock, Konstantopoulos (gk).
Referee: P Crossley (Bromley).
Bookings: Burton: Kirkwood, Webster. Hartlepool: Williams, Wilkinson.
Man of the match: Nelson.
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