Former Morecambe forward Richie Bennett delighted with striking competition at Hartlepool United as Stockport County recall looms

Richie Bennett and Rhys Oates rekindled their strike partnership for the first time in two years as Hartlepool United thrashed Wealdstone 7-2.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 12:30 pm

It was Pools’ biggest ever National League win as Bennett netted a hat-trick and Oates scored a brace while also assisting one another.

It was the first time the pair had partnered each other up front since their respective spells at Morecambe in League Two back in 2019.

And Bennett believes Pools are reaping the rewards for having strong competition in attack.

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Richie Bennett of Morcambe celebrates with team mate Rhys Oates after scoring his sides goal during the Sky Bet League Two match between Northampton Town and Morecambe at PTS Academy Stadium on January 26, 2019 (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

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“It took me back to our days at Morecambe together playing up top with Oatesy,” he told The Mail.

"We know how each other like to play and we showed that [on Saturday]. The same goes with Luke [Armstrong] as well where, between the three of us, we’ve built good partnerships and they are great options for the gaffer where he’s probably left with a bit of a headache when it comes to selecting who plays.

“You’ve got to have competition in the side. Luke was on the bench but he’s been brilliant so we knew we had to be right at it when we got the chance.”

The Wealdstone match could prove to be the first and final time Bennett and Oates start up front together for Pools this season.

Bennett is currently on loan from National League rivals Stockport County, who will be able to trigger a recall clause from April 29 – Pools’ next game is against Chesterfield on May 1.

“It’s out of my hands,” Bennett admitted. “I'm enjoying it here and I want to keep playing but it’s not something I can control.”

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