Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor explains why he dropped top scorer Luke Armstrong for 7-2 win at Wealdstone

Top scorer Luke Armstrong was dropped from the side for the first time since his arrival on loan from Salford City as Hartlepool United ran riot at Wealdstone.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:30 pm

Richie Bennett bagged a hat-trick, Rhys Oates scored twice and midfielders Nicky Featherstone and Mark Shelton netted a goal apiece at Dave Challinor’s side ran out 7-2 winners at Grosvenor Vale on Saturday.

Prior to kick-off, Armstrong was a notable omission from the starting line-up after scoring 11 times since arriving at Pools in December.

No player has scored more goals for the club this season than the 24-year-old, who remained on the bench throughout Saturday’s match with new forward signing Danny Elliott also getting a run-out instead.

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Luke Armstrong of Hartlepool United lines up a shot at goal during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham and Redbridge at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Friday 2nd April 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

But Challinor was delighted to be able to rest one of his key players while also being able to pick up a huge win – highlighting the strength of his squad.

“It was really, really pleasing,” Challinor told The Mail.

“I spoke to Luke before the game and the plan was with the Weymouth game potentially not being played at the weekend, that this was the chance to take him out of the spotlight and look after him for the next seven to 10 days.

"The reality is, Richie will potentially go back [before Chesterfield] and Luke has been pivotal in getting us to where we are and will be one of the most important cogs in terms of us achieving what we want to achieve this year.

"To have him firing and rested and relaxed going into the final six games and potentially games after that is massively important for us.”

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