Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor reflects on 2-2 comeback draw at Exeter City in FA Cup second round

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor was delighted to get into the hat for the FA Cup third round draw following an impressive 2-2 draw at League Two side Exeter City.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 5:13 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st December 2019, 5:14 pm
Hartlepool United Dave Challinor during the FA Cup match between Exeter City and Hartlepool United at St James' Park, Exeter on Sunday 1st December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool United Dave Challinor during the FA Cup match between Exeter City and Hartlepool United at St James' Park, Exeter on Sunday 1st December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Goals from Ryan Bowman and Nigel Atangana saw the hosts in complete control going in at half-time as Pools had failed to register a single shot on target at St. James’ Park.

But Challinor got the reaction he was looking for after the break as a Nicky Featherstone wonder strike and a poacher’s effort from substitute Nicke Kabamba saw the National League outfit secure a replay against the odds.

Following the match Challinor said: “I’m delighted, over 3.5 goals, we’ve got a habit of that!

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“We’re in the draw which if you’d have offered us that before the game we would have taken it and if you’d offered us it at half-time we definitely would have snapped your hand off.

“We can look forward to tomorrow night’s draw and hopefully for both clubs, there’s a big carrot at the end of it in the third round.

“It’s easy to say that the shackles are released when you’re 2-0 down but we needed to be adventurous and we were too safe in the first half and conceded two poor goals.

“The message at half-time was all about us not wondering ‘what if?’

“I think you have to play every game like it’s your last and it’s an easy thing to say but I’ve been in their position and I told them they’re a long time retired and people don’t have the luxury of playing in a good game of football in front of a great crowd in the FA Cup.

“I just wanted them to have a go.

“It says on the back of our shirt ‘never say die’ and that’s what the supporters want and we’ve shown that in spades in the short period I’ve been at the club.

“We’ve spoke about moments in games and you point to Ben Killip’s triple save just before Feaths’ goal that helps change the game.

“You point to those key moments that give you fresh impetus and those two moments in quick succession certainly did that.”