Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Featherstone on 'key moments' that led to two goal FA Cup comeback at Exeter City

Nicky Featherstone found the net for the second time in three games as Hartlepool United mounted another late two goal comeback to force an FA Cup second round replay against Exeter City.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 4:45 pm
Nicky Featherstone turns away from Stuart Nelson during the FA Cup match between Yeovil Town and Hartlepool United at Huish Park, Yeovil on Tuesday 12th November 2019. (Credit: Gareth Williams)
Nicky Featherstone turns away from Stuart Nelson during the FA Cup match between Yeovil Town and Hartlepool United at Huish Park, Yeovil on Tuesday 12th November 2019. (Credit: Gareth Williams)

Featherstone’s 25-yard rocket into the top left corner of the goal 17-minutes from time helped Pools get back into the tie as Nicke Kabamba levelled the score soon after to claim an unlikely draw at St. James’ Park.

Moments before the opening goal, Ben Killip made a remarkable triple save to prevent Exeter making it 3-0 and securing their place in the third round.

And Featherstone pointed to that moment as a key turning point in the match.

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“It’s key moments in games that give you opportunities to then go and develop a comeback,” said the 31-year-old.

“Ben’s triple save is as good as I’ve seen with two point blank saves which gave us the impetus to go on and get the goal to get us back into it and then find the equaliser.

Fortunately for me the last couple of games I’ve come up with a goal just from nothing really where I’ve just hit the ball in hope and it’s gone in.

“We’ve got goals in the team and we’ve really shown that in recent weeks and I’m happy to chip in and help the team.”

With Pools sitting 31 places below Exeter in the football pyramid, they went into the match as underdogs but more than held their own come full-time following an impressive second half display.

It’s the third Saturday running for Hartlepool in which a side have came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

“Exeter are a good side and you could see that from the first half because we pretty much played in our own half and they really took the game to us,” Featherstone continued.

“We know ourselves that 2-0 is a difficult lead to hold onto psychologically because the next goal is massive.

“When you get a goal back the opposition drop deeper to protect the 2-1 lead and it’s difficult. We’ve made a very good League Two side look ordinary in the second half with how we came out and played.”