Hartlepool United assistant head coach Antony Sweeney felt Dorking clash summed up his side's season while also singing the praises of the more than 700 supporters who made the long trip to Surrey

Hartlepool United assistant head coach Antony Sweeney said Saturday's topsy-turvy 4-3 win over relegated Dorking Wanderers summed up his side's tumultuous season.
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At times, Pools were at their blistering best but, equally, there were moments when Sweeney and the rest of the coaching staff must have been watching through their fingers as Jimmy Muitt in particular profited from some poor defending.

It was a frenetic, chaotic and, given that neither side had anything to play for, a surprisingly pulsating encounter between two teams who seemed desperate to end challenging campaigns on a high note.

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Pools recovered from a slow start, going behind following Charlie Carter's well-taken opener, to take the lead thanks to two goals in two minutes, including a spectacular effort from Mani Dieseruvwe, his first from open play in two months.

The Pools assistant head coach felt Saturday's topsy-turvy win over Dorking encapsulated his side's season.The Pools assistant head coach felt Saturday's topsy-turvy win over Dorking encapsulated his side's season.
The Pools assistant head coach felt Saturday's topsy-turvy win over Dorking encapsulated his side's season.

Dieseruvwe extended his side's lead just before the break with his 25th goal of a memorable campaign but Pools were unable to press home their advantage in the second half and, despite Joe Grey's emphatic effort in the 59th minute, were a bit fortunate to hold onto all three points after Pete Jameson made a string of superb saves and Alfie Rutherford hit the crossbar in added time.

And Sweeney, who was speaking to the press in place of Kevin Phillips after the boss had to drop assistant Lennie Lawrence at the train station, felt the afternoon was a microcosm of his side's season as a whole.

"It was a mad game," he said.

"We made it much more difficult than it should've been.

"I suppose, if you could encapsulate what our season has been, then it's probably that game.

"Thankfully, this time we came out with the right result.

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"I think there was a time in the season when getting 60 points looked a long shot, so we live to fight another day."

Sweeney, who is the third-highest Pools appearance maker of all time, playing almost 450 matches in blue and white before taking up a coaching role, was full of praise for the more than 700 fans who made the long trip to Surrey, undeterred by the 574-mile round trip and 12:15 kick-off time.

As is tradition, most of the supporters were taking part in the annual fancy dress to mark the final away day of the season, with this year's theme being the Blues Brothers.

And the Pools assistant coach was delighted that his side could reward the steadfast supporters with three points to end the campaign on a high note.

He said: "It's never been in doubt.

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"We've under-performed for large parts of the season and the home attendances have been pretty constant.

"We know how long the distances are, and we know how expensive it is to get down, so fair play to every single one of them. It would have been quite easy just to sit at home.

"Thankfully they've seen some entertainment, probably too much for our liking, but they got their money's worth."

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