Dave Challinor praises ground staff and reflects on a nervous end for Hartlepool United in 3-1 win over Wealdstone

Dave Challinor felt Hartlepool United’s 3-1 scoreline over Wealdstone didn't provide a true reflection of the game.

Saturday, 9th January 2021, 6:20 pm

Pools led 1-0 at half-time thanks to Luke Armstrong’s sixth goal in as many National League games but the side missed a host of chances to be further ahead at the break.

Goals from Rhys Oates and Nicky Featherstone effectively secured the three points for Pools but Wealdstone were able to cause a late scare after Jacob Mendy pulled a goal back with 15-minutes to play. The visitors hit the woodwork a few times in the latter stages of the second half and had an effort cleared off the line by Pools substitute Luke Williams.

While Challinor feels his side should have been out of sight, he gave credit to Wealdstone for their efforts.

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Hartlepool manager, Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Wealdstone at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 9th January 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

"Really good performance, great result for us,” he said following a fourth straight league win.

"I’m not going to let the lat 20-minutes detract from what was a great win. The game should have been over at half-time for us.

“The last 20-minutes was more nervous than it should have been but it gives us something to learn from and improve on. It’s another win but our players weren’t overly pleased afterwards just because of the manner in which we ended the game.

“But credit to Wealdstone, they deserved their goal and kept going and could have scored again.

“We knew we needed to win today, we did and we look forward to Tuesday now.”

The match was in doubt prior to kick-off following sub-zero temperatures in Hartlepool. But an early pitch inspection allowed the game to go ahead as planned. And Challinor paid tribute to the efforts of Dave Brown and Pools’ ground staff for getting the game on.

“A referee came to inspect the pitch last night,” Challinor added.

"The concern was that the pitch was soaking wet and there was a cold forecast. I came in this morning and the referee came in for an inspection but the pitch was fine and the frost covers did a brilliant job.

“The work the ground staff and the volunteers did, without their work and the frost covers, the game wouldn’t have gone ahead. Dave is massively important for us and the way we want to play.”

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