Dave Challinor critiques two key moments that helped Hartlepool United keep a clean sheet against Bristol Rovers

Zaine Francis-Angol knows all about Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor’s high standards – as he found out once again following Saturday’s 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:30 pm

Francis-Angol has moved into the left centre-back role seamlessly for Pools and impressed once again at Victoria Park over the weekend.

With Pools leading thanks to Jamie Sterry’s first goal for the club, Bristol Rovers almost had a great chance immediately afterwards as Antony Evans broke free and looked to be in on goal.

But some great pace and confident decision making from Francis-Angol saw him make a last-ditch tackle inside the penalty area to deny the Rovers forward and keep the score at 1-0. While Challinor recognised the quality of the 28-year-old’s tackle, he didn’t refrain from critiquing his defending on the whole.

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“It was a big moment,” the Pools boss told The Mail. “Zaine should have blocked it because it was his man so I was more disappointed that he was two or three yards off his man which almost meant he was in so I’ll put that one on him.

"But it’s good defending that he makes up for a mistake that he shouldn’t have made anyway!”

Another big moment came inside the final six-minutes as Ben Killip blocked Brett Pitman’s point blank header at the back post.

Zaine Francis-Angol of Hartlepool United(Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“The free-kick, they are difficult to defend and we were trying to get messages onto the pitch,” Challinor added.

"Ben spread himself well and it hits him but I’d have been disappointed if they had scored because it was deep within his six yard box but the ball hasn’t gone in the net which is the main thing.”

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