Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor praises 'fantastic' support with great gesture following controversial 1-0 defeat to Ebbsfleet United

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Dave Challinor hailed the ‘fantastic’ Hartlepool United following the controversial 1-0 defeat to Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park.

The disappointing result for Pools was marred further by allegations of racism, a pitch invader and a mass confrontation between the sides after the game – with investigations ongoing.

Challinor was sent off for a coming together with Ebbsfleet’s Ayo Obileye following the full-time whistle but still went over to show his appreciation to the near 4,000 crowd in attendance.

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The Pools boss revealed that he, the players and staff helped raise £200 for the North West Corner’s collection to help ‘take the club’s support to the next level’.

And in terms of fans getting behind the team on Saturday, Challinor said: “The crowd were fantastic, one thing I ask of the crowd is that when we needed them to give us everything they’ve got they did that and they were brilliant.

“For me, I’ve said to the players, we lost a game and missed an opportunity but that doesn’t stop any belief in what I and we as a club want to do.

“We keep believing and we’re made up that the fans are totally behind us. What we don’t want to do is send them home disappointed.

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“All I’ve said to the players is that the fans understand that we’re going to lose games but as long as they appreciate that we’re giving it our all, we all have the same objective here.

“That’s based around winning football matches and getting the club where it and its supporters deserve to be.”