Basic instinct took Hartlepool United's goal hero Nathan Thomas towards goal

Imagine the scene. It's 1-1, it's injury-time, you are away from home and you have a point in your hand.

Monday, 12th September 2016, 7:30 am
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 3:24 pm
Hartlepool United's Nathan Thomas. Picture by Gareth Williams/

You get the ball out near the touchline, surely you head for the corner flag and run the clock down?

Not Nathan Thomas at Yeovil Town. Hartlepool United’s dangerman comes off the right flank, gets half a yard on his marker and takes aim from the corner of the 18-yard box, his shot leaving Artur Krysiak clutching thin air, the ball hitting his top-right corner.

The words dramatic and sensational scarcely do it justice.

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Having brought Pools level in the 67th minute at Huish Park with his electric speed and cool finish, Thomas’s wand of a left foot produced a moment of magic in the second minute of injury time, from sub Lewis Alessandra’s neat pass.

“When do I ever take stuff into the corner?” he laughed.

“When I got the ball from Lewie I was thinking we can win it!

“Some players maybe would [go to the corner], but that’s not my instinct.

“I look to see what the defender is doing just to try to anticipate what I can do.

“He left me the room to check inside so that’s what I did - it would have been rude not to take on the shot!

“Luckily it came off nicely, it was a good goal, probably the best goal I’ve ever scored.”

Thomas uses the word luck, but he is being modest, the goal was about vision and skill and he had both.

“I think the lad marking me was a sub and he’d not long been on,” said the 21-year-old.

“Maybe he wasn’t as tuned in as the others who had been on the pitch the full game.

“He let me come inside, it was one of them you try to set just outside the post and hope it comes round perfectly and it did into the far corner.”

Not only was the goal “perfect” so too was the response from the 6-1 mauling at Stevenage.

Thomas said Pools winning at Huish Park meant more to him than his double.

“It’s always nice to score goals, but the most important thing was we came back from what happened last week,” said the former Sunderland forward.

“Now we can brush that under the carpet as though it never happened.

“It’s always hard after a defeat but to lose that game the way we did it was embarrassing, everyone felt that way.

“It’s probably been the worst week we’ve had in training, the lads were down.

“It was going to take a few days to get out of the system, but we were more gutted for the fans, to travel the distance they did to support us and for us not to turn up.

“We just hoped to put in a performance that showed we were together, that we were 11 players fighting for each other and we weren’t going to fall apart again.

“I thought we were brilliant in that regard.

“If you had offered us a point before kick-off we’d have snatched your hand off. Yeovil are a bit hit and miss but they have some really good players.”

Thomas had already scored a fine goal to bring Pools level, outpacing Liam Shephard and Glovers scorer Matt Butcher following Trevor Carson’s long clearance from a corner.

“We were a bit surprised they left me one against one,” he said. “We tried it in the first half and Trev did not quite connect.

“But when you have Trev in goal and he can collect crosses and clear like that, all I have to do is gamble.

“He boomed it 80 yards, it’s bounced once, I’ve got it and slipped it under the keeper.

“Trev is unbelievable, he’s just as good outfield as in goal.