Craig Harrison happy to to see Hartlepool United's 'quality' in 3-1 win over Maidstone

Connor Simpson heads in Hartlepool United's third goal. Picture by FRANK REID
Connor Simpson heads in Hartlepool United's third goal. Picture by FRANK REID

Craig Harrison hailed his players for their "quality" as Hartlepool United made it back-to-back wins in the National League.

Harrison had clinched his first victory at Guiseley on Monday when Pools produced a real backs-to-the-wall effort.

But today the side were simply irresistable, hungry going forward and determined into the tackle, with the final scoreline of 3-1 the least they deserved.

Centre-half Keith Watson put Pools on their way when he finished smartly in the 19th minute following a corner.

And after a quiet start to the second half, Pools made the game safe through headers by Jonathan Franks and debutant Conor Simpson.

Franks timed his arrival perfectly to nod home Nicky Deverdics' cross from 12 yards.

And Franks went from scorer to provider when he got the better of two defenders to deliver a delicious ball which Simpson powered in from six yards.

A last-minute consolation from Johan ter Horst irked Harrison slightly, but the the manager was ectastic at the display of his side.

“We’ve waited for that – we know it’s been in there and that’s the frustrating part of it," he said.

"The lads have absolutely grafted their socks off from day one, I couldn’t ask any more from them.

"As a squad they have great and supportive to each other. There have been a lot of changes in the last eight games, but ther lads have shown we are all in it together and it proved that was proved today and Monday.

“They did the ugly things again today.

"The last thing I said to them before they went out was 'do that again but with a bit more quality' and they showed that quality.

“It’s disappointing to concede at the end, but that’s life – if we win 3-1 every week I'll be more than happy."

Pools: Loach, Magnay, Ledger, Watson, Deverdics, Featherstone, Hawkins, Woods, Rodney (Donaldson 62), Simpson (Oates 79), Franks.

Subs: Richardson, Newton, Munns.

Goals: Watson 19, Franks 57, Simpson 68

Booked: Watson 44, Hawkins 64

Maidstone: Worgan, Hare, Okuonghae, Paxman, Anderson, Wynter, Reason (Richards 58), Lewis, Hines (Wraight 79), Sam-Yorke (ter Horst 76), Pigott

Subs: Finney, Prestedge

Goal: ter Horst 90

Referee: P Gibbons

Attendance: 4,137 (away 147)