BT Sport presenter Jeff Brazier predicts who will win the National League play-off final between Hartlepool United and Torquay United
BT Sport presenter Jeff Brazier has had his say on Sunday’s National League promotion final at Ashton Gate (2pm kick-off).
Hartlepool United and Torquay are preparing to lock horns for a place in the Football League, but there can be only one winner.
Brazier has seen both sides on numerous occasions this season, including Torquay’s 5-0 win at Victoria Park and Pools’ 1-0 victory at Plainmoor.
And the BT Sport presenter was full of praise for Dave Challinor’s side in his Vanarama.com column.
"Having seen two very different approaches to their play-off games so far, they look like a side who can adapt brilliantly to whatever Challinor wants them to do,” Brazier said.
“Not many teams have made it to the final when playing that extra game but surprise, surprise, Challinor has now done it twice.
"Playing with the intensity against Bromley that overwhelmed a usually solid Bromley defence, rendering the game all but won before half time in front of 1,700 of their own fans.
“Then the patient away display suppressing the Stockport fans early on and keeping it that way before snatching the game with a speculative effort while extra time looked inevitable was exactly how it would need to be done against a side that hadn’t lost since 6th March.
"Hartlepool are unbeaten in the 24 league games that they have scored first in and the man most likely to do the damage is Rhys Oates who has scored 9 goals in as many appearances, the latest being the winner against Stockport on Sunday.
“Torquay are unbeaten in their last 14 coming into this one and love scoring late goals, winning 12 matches this season with goals scored after the 80th minute, including those two late goals in extra time against County in the semi-final.”
Sunday’s final is certainly looking like a close one to call, a feeling echoed by Brazier as he gave his prediction.
“I’ve always said Torquay are the best side in the Vanarama when Danny Wright is fit so if I really had to choose, I think Torquay do it,” he added.
“I’ve got a feeling this one will be decided on penalties though!”