Dave Challinor reacts to 3-2 win over Bromley as Hartlepool United clinch play-off semi-final against Stockport County
Hartlepool United could not have asked for a better start to the 3-2 win over Bromley as Rhys Oates inspired an incredible first half display.
Pools boss Dave Challinor has praised his players for the way they started the play-off clash at The Vic in front of 1,700 fans to set up a semi-final away at Stockport County next Sunday.
Reflecting on the win, Challinor said: “We started the game really well, which you always want to do. I have been in similar situations being 2-0 up and 2-0 behind early on in play-off games.
"The start of the game is always important and we knew playing here, with the fans in and behind us, was going to be important.
"We couldn’t have asked for a better start than we got.
"We switched the play really well first half, when it wasn’t on to go down the sides. That was something we’d looked at.
"We probably got a little bit safe in the second half.”
Looking ahead to the next week, Challinor said: "The play-off final is June 20 and we came back the same date last year so it has been a long 12-months, we are managing a few little bits, it won’t be a case of doing massive amounts, we will gear up to Sunday to ensure everyone is prepared to go and perform.”
Pools stormed into a 3-0 lead at half-time thanks to a powerful first half display.
Rhys Oates was almost unplayable with the Bromley defence unable to get control of the forward.
Oates opened the scoring in the 17th minute, racing on to a long ball from Nicky Featherstone before showing excellent strength and composure to then prod home.
It was soon 2-0, Oates turning provider to set up Armstrong, again after showing good strength, Armstrong’s effort doubling the lead.
And it was that man again, Oates with the third goal for Pools in the 24th minute. Three goals in seven minutes saw Pools take control of the fixture in front of 1,700 fans inside a bouncing Victoria Park. Two Bromley goals in the second half set up a nervy end but Pools held firm.