Hartlepool midfielder reveals how squad will use midweek break and reflects on THAT goal - his best yet

Nicky Featherstone celebrates his goal against Maidenhead.
Nicky Featherstone celebrates his goal against Maidenhead.

A week of recovery is just what the doctor ordered for Hartlepool after a hectic start to life in the National League, according to Nicky Featherstone.

But the key is for Pools not to rest on their laurels.

And the midfielder wants the squad to use the positives of their weekend win to kick on up the fifth tier table.

“It is important we recover now,” said Featherstone, whose side face their first week without a midweek game.

“It has been a tough few weeks at the start of the season - it always is at this level.

“The fixtures come thick and fast but we now have a week to build towards Dagenham away.”

On the 2-1 win over Maidenhead United - in which the player netted what turned out to be the winner - Featherstone knows the players have deserved much more from their opening five games, than they six they have managed to record.

“We really needed that, especially after Harrogate and Braintree,” said Featherstone.

“In those games we should have been out of sight so it was a blow. We have created a lot of chances in the games we have played - Braintree could have been four or five.

“There can be a sense of panic sometimes when you haven’t got that win - you drop behind the ball.

“The problem comes when you keep it at 1-0. The longer it goes on you give the opposition a chance, and this time we didn’t allow that to happen.

“But now that we have that first win I think that we can kick on now.”

Featherstone’s strike was the pick of the game - not because it was the winner, or because his goals are so rare, it stood out because of the quality.

A ball from Michael Woods found Featherstone advancing through the Magpies’ backline.

Through on goal the player was pushed wide only to turn and chip over Carl Pentney for 2-0.

“The gaffer told me to stop making those runs,” Featherstone revealed.

“I seen an opportunity with Nobsa (Liam Noble) tucked in behind me. Woodsy (Michael Woods) has played a nice ball and I have managed to get there before the keeper. I have then seem him off his line and thought I would just get in the back stick.

“It is a split second decision - you don’t have much time to make the call.

“It is probably my best ever goal - Woodsy has probably got four of the assists for the five, took.

“It is always nice to score but the most important thing for us is the win.

“We needed it. It’s time to kick on.”

The opening goal was scored by Luke James, who had to wait five games to get off the mark in blue and white for the third time in his career.

Few players deserved a goal as much as striker James, according to Featherstone.

“Luke deserved his goal,” he said.

“He is a hard-working lad who maybe hasn’t had the chances the others have.

“It was nice to see him get off the mark because that will do him the world of good.”