Hartlepool United winner worth the wait for Michael Woods

Michael Woods celebrates his goal with Lewis Alessandra

(left). Picture by ANDREW ROE/AHPIX
Michael Woods celebrates his goal with Lewis Alessandra (left). Picture by ANDREW ROE/AHPIX
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That was long, long overdue.

So said Michael Woods after his clinically-taken 63rd-minute winner fired Hartlepool United to their first League Two away victory since October 1.

But the midfielder was referring to his goal – the first the 26-year-old has netted since the first away victory of the season, the 2-1 success at Exeter City on only the second Saturday of the League Two programme.

Woods had waited 26 games to double his tally for the campaign.

And he took it with confidence, beating keeper Will Norris to the goalie’s left after good play by Lewis Alessandra and Padraig Amond.

“It’s been long, long overdue,” he said. “I think the gaffer gave me the licence to get forward.

“With us having a back three at Notts County on Saturday I’ve had to be a bit more disciplined.

“But last night I’ve had Nicky [Featherstone] behind me and at the back Brad [Walker] has slotted back in alongside Scott [Harrison].

“Knowing you have those lads behind you it gives you the freedom to get forward and gamble sometimes.

“I do owe Podge [Amond] credit, you might expect him putting his foot through it himself.

“But he’s played me in with a great ball and I’ve had half the goal to aim at and put it away.

“It’s a great feeling when the ball hits the back of the net.

“But it wasn’t as good as the feeling when that final whistle went.

“We’ve been playing really well away from home without getting any rewards, but you’d be lying if you said that it was not playing on your mind.

“We’ve been unlucky in a couple of the games on the road but last night it was a real solid away performance.

“All the lads have really worked their socks off.

“I don’t think Joe [Fryer] has had to make any saves and that’s a credit to the way the 10 lads in front of himhave played.”