Dave Challinor verdict on the National League play-off picture with Notts County, Chesterfield, Torquay United & Co all battling for promotion

The battle for promotion from the National League is fierce heading into the final stages of the season.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 12:30 pm

Hartlepool United are well positioned, second in the table and just two points off leaders Sutton United though they do have three games in hand on Pools.

At this stage it is likely Pools – who are still battling for automatic promotion – will be competing in the play-offs and the competition is intense.

There are a host of big clubs in the picture too including Notts County, who Pools host at The Vic on Saturday evening, Torquay United, Stockport, Chesterfield and Halifax Town.

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Gavan Holohan of Hartlepool United heads their 2nd and winning goal during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham and Redbridge. Mark Fletcher | MI News & Sport Ltd.

Pools have played 34 games and that is at least three more games than all of their play-off rivals.

Reflecting on the play-off battle, Challinor said: “It’s going to be interesting especially with the teams involved.

"All big clubs, ex-Football League teams with big fan bases.

"Obviously that’s not made too much difference this season but we’ve all got ourselves in the mix and there’s a few more in and around it that will still fancy themselves to get in there.

"Between now and the end of the season there are some big weekends in terms of how the fixture calendar works out and how teams play each other.

"Some of those games will be through midweek so we’ve just got to focus on ourselves and see how it plays out.

“People say play-off games, form goes out the window, it doesn’t.

"It certainly helps knowing that you’re going into it having won a run of games.

"We've given ourselves a run of games where we can achieve what we want to,” added the Pools boss.

Pools head into the Notts County clash on the back of a point at Boreham Wood.

Goals from Gavan Holohan and Richie Bennett saw Pools come from behind twice to secure a point at Meadow Park despite playing the majority of the game with forward Rhys Oates in goal.

Pools trailed 2-1 when Ben Killip was forced off due to an elbow injury as Oates donned the goalkeeper gloves and Henrich Ravas’ goalkeeper shirt with the task of keeping goals out opposed to scoring them.

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