Craig Harrison marvels at Hartlepool United's second-half super show at Torquay

Rhys Oates heads in Hartlepool United's opening goal at Torquay. Picture by GARETH WILLIAMS/ AHPIX
Rhys Oates heads in Hartlepool United's opening goal at Torquay. Picture by GARETH WILLIAMS/ AHPIX

Craig Harrison marvelled at a second-half super show from Hartlepool United as they closed the gap to the play-off zone.

Pools moved up from 14th to 12th in the National League with a 2-0 win at Torquay, thanks to goals by Rhys Oates and Jonathan Franks.

Their fourth away win in the division moved them to within a point of the top seven and six points from Dover, who are in pole position.

It was a vital three points for Pools who struggled to reach half-time with their goal intact, Scott Loach making a couple of great saves with Torquay putting the visitors under the cosh.

But it was all change in the second half when Oates headed in a 54th-minute cross from Blair Adams, who was making his first start since August.

And leading scorer Franks doubled the advantage with the aid of a kind deflection from Joshn Gowling to send the 159 away fans into delirium.

"Every three points is a good three points," said Harrison. "The lads have worked really hard and deserved the win.

"The first half hour was really tricky to say the least.

"Torquay have recently had a change of manager and are on a decent run, they're a big club with good players, they are not going to lie down for us, are they?

"They've had a good win in midweek at Ebbsfleet and their confidence was high and they came out of the blocks firing and put us under a lot of pressure.

"They were going to look to get at us and they did, but we rode the storm and had a little but of luck, but you need that in football.

"We made a couple of little changes at at-half-time and the lads responded fantastically in the second half.

"We changed our shape a little and we got at them a bit more and thoroughly deserved it for our second half performance.

"It could have been three or four in the end."

Harrison praised Pools for their clinical edge in front of goal after the break.

"It was a great header from Rhys who has attacked the space," said the manager.

"And for the second, it was like slow motion, but I've said to the lads about getting that second goal and Franks delivered."