‘A really special moment’ – Gavan Holohan on Hartlepool United's last-minute winner against Crawley Town on Football League return

Gavan Holohan was Hartlepool United’s last-minute match winner for the second opening day running as the club marked their return to the Football League with a 1-0 victory over Crawley Town.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 4:45 pm

Over 5,000 supporters packed into Victoria Park to witness Pools’ first taste of League Two action after four years in the National League.

And it would prove to be a day to remember with Holohan’s 89th-minute strike into the bottom right corner seeing the side get off to a winning start.

Last season, the Irish midfielder scored a late winner to help Pools claim an opening day three points against Aldershot Town at The Vic – and we all know how that season turned out!

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Gavan Holohan of Hartlepool United scores their winning goal during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Crawley Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th August 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

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“I had that going through my mind going into the game that I got the winner last year so hopefully I could do it again and thankfully that’s how it worked out,” he told BBC Radio Tees Sport.

“We’d played well and had a few chances so it was just about committing bodies forward and hoping a bit of quality comes into the box which it did.

"It was just instinct, you just react off the way the ball comes to you so it was just about getting a good control on the chest and trying to get a good contact on the volley or half-volley whatever it was, I can’t remember. It was a zippy pitch and it just zipped off into the corner – a brilliant feeling like."

Unlike last season, Holohan was able to enjoy the moment with 5,000 Poolies at Victoria Park.

“It was a really special moment, we spoke about it in there,” he added.

“Aldershot the first game of last season was behind closed doors with no atmosphere, you go back into the changing room and it’s just well done lads, we go again.

"This time it’s really special to do it in front of that crowd, it’s really special and the place is absolutely bouncing and it’s great to have them back.

"We need to use the fans as much as we can because they really are the 12th man.

"When the place is bouncing like that, I wouldn’t want to be an opposition player coming here so we need to use that to our advantage.”

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