Hartlepool United 1 Crawley Town 0: Story of the day as Pools start with a win thanks to Gavan Holohan 89th minute winner

Hartlepool United are back in the Football League and they started with a big win thanks to Gavan Holohan’s late winner.

Saturday, 7th August 2021, 5:15 pm

After four years in the National League, Pools are finally back in League Two action following their dramatic play-off promotion earlier this summer.

It’s been a frantic turnaround for Dave Challinor’s side since June 20 with nine new arrivals coming in. A disjointed pre-season is now in the past for Pools as they can look forward to what will hopefully be a positive season back in the EFL.

Victoria Park will be full for the first time since March 2020 for Pools’ return after the coronavirus pandemic caused almost the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign to be played behind closed doors.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Hartlepool v Crawley.

Today’s opponents Crawley Town finished 12th in League Two last season but Pools head into the game with a virtually fully-fit squad of players to choose from.

Holohan popped up in the 89th minute with the winner, recap the action below.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Hartlepool United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor

LIVE: Hartlepool United 1 Crawley Town 0

Last updated: Saturday, 07 August, 2021, 16:57

  • Hartlepool United mark their return to EFL action against Crawley Town at Victoria Park this afternoon.
  • It’s been over four years since Pools’ last League Two match.
  • Pools doubts: Mark Cullen (hamstring)
  • Pools outs: Joe Grey (back), Tom Crawford (illness)
  • Pools: Killip, Sterry, Ferguson, Liddle, Odusina, Bryne, Shelton, Featherstone (C), Holohan, Molyneux, Olomola. Pools subs: Mitchell, Smith, Ogle, Daly, Francis-Angol, Cullen.
  • Crawley: Morris, Davies, Gallacher, Craig (C), Powell, Nadesan, Frost, Tunnicliffe, Matthews, Payne, Hessenthaler. Crawley subs: Tilley, Francillette, Ferry, Ashford, Khaleel, Nria Noukey, Dallison.

FT: Pools beat Crawley Town 1-0 on return to the Football League!

Pools are back in the Football League and they start with a win - Dave Challinor and the players go over to celebrate with the fans.

Holohan the late hero for Pools. They are up and running!

Pools leave it late but Holohan puts Pools ahead

Just three minutes added time here. Superb celebrations as Holohan puts Pools ahead, he slides on his knees in front of the North West Corner.

Pools are back in the Football League and heading for a big three points here

GOOOAAAALLLL!!! Holohan with the late goal

Pools are ahead! Holohan with the late strike to make it 1-0 Pools

Final sub for Crawley

Matthews heads off, on comes Tilley in the 74th minute.

70’ Cullen is coming on shortly for Pools

The forward has been warming up for a while now and looks to be coming on next.

Burey has made a positive impact since coming on, the winger is looking to get at the Crawley defence.

Pools need a further spark though if they are to capitalise here, they deserve the victory so far, been the stronger outfit.

No changes at the break

And we are back underway here, no changes at the break for either side.

Goalless and all to play for.

Half-time player ratings in our Pools blog

Ben Killip: Wasn’t troubled in the first half, distribution could have been better. 6

Jamie Sterry: Busy in the opening period, two good crosses. Pools’ best player first half, superb crosses into the box. 7

David Ferguson: Had a good opening 7 minutes in, curled effort wide. Got forward well. 7

Gary Liddle: Took an early knock but assured throughout. 6

Timi Odusina: Full of running next to Liddle, tracked back well. 6

Neill Bryne: Solid enough home debut from the summer signing, missed a good chance at the back post to score. 6

Mark Shelton: Full of running in the midfield three. 6

Nicky Featherstone ©: Cool and calm in possession. 7

Gavan Holohan: Similar to Shelton, full of energy and running. Had a great chance early on but fired wide. 6

Luke Molyneux: Keen to make an impression and seize his chance, linked up well with Olomola. 6

Olufela Olomola: Full of running early on, led the line well, capable of a good cross too. 6

HT: And it’s goalless here at the break

Pools have had the best of the openings here but it remains goalless at the break.

All to play for in the second half, Crawley grew into the game but their final ball needs to improve if they are to challenge Killip & Co at the back for Pools.

Up the other end Ferguson and Holohan have had the best openings, Molyneux saw a deflected effort saved.

Ten minutes to go until half-time

Crawley are enjoying more of the game now, a couple of corners and free-kicks but the quality on the delivery in has been poor.

A chant of ‘keep it going lads, come on’ from a Pools fan in the Mill House.

Page 1 of 4