Delayed Hartlepool United substitution inspires victory at York City

Michael Woods celebrates after scoring his goal against York. Picture by CHRIS HORSLEY
Michael Woods celebrates after scoring his goal against York. Picture by CHRIS HORSLEY

Inspired substitutions.

They are made by managers and then championed by us in the media.

It’s massive for us having him back fit after the injury he had

SAM COLLINS

But what about delayed substitutions?

Michael Woods was seconds from being replaced at Bootham Crescent when he popped up with the winner against York City nine minutes from time.

Given there was a game coming up on Tuesday night and Woods was in his third competitive appearance inside eight days, head physio Ian Gallagher was “in the ear” of Sam Collins to bring the midfielder off.

Brad Walker was ready to make his first appearance of the season and Collins told Woods, who pleaded for more time.

He got it and grabbed the Pools winner.

“Buster was in my earhole, saying ‘what about Tuesday for Woodsy?’,” said Collins.

“Woodsy looked shattered and with Newport coming up it was right to be careful with him.

“I’m thinking we’ll get Brad on and he was champing at the bit to come on.

“Obviously Woodsy then goes and scores and I thought ‘I’d better bring him off now!’

“He started saying ‘just one more minute’ but I told him ‘you are coming off to sit next to me’.”

It was a dream for Woods and for Pools given those horrible painful moments when he suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula in the 1-0 win over Wimbledon at the end of February, then the months of rehab which followed.

“It’s massive for us having him back fit after the injury he had,” said Collins

“Buster[Gallagher] did an unbelievable job getting him fit as quickly as he has

“Luckily we had him back for the start of the season and he’ll get fitter the more games he has.”