Hugill: Scoring the goal that kept Hartlepool in the league was meant to be

Jordan Hugill and Scott Fenwick celebrate the Great Escape
Jordan Hugill and Scott Fenwick celebrate the Great Escape

OVERWHELMED Jordan Hugill believes him scoring the goal that kept Hartlepool United in the Football League was just “meant to be”.

The confident 22-year-old striker couldn’t contain his excitement after scoring the winner in the 2-1 victory over Exeter City at a bouncing Victoria Park.

His fine left-footed strike came right on the stroke of half-time and it proved enough for Ronnie Moore’s resurgent Pools to claim victory and their Football League status.

Middlesbrough-born Hugill joined the club on loan from Preston North End last month and he believes it was his destiny to score the crucial goal.

Hugill told SportMail: “When I heard Pools were interested in me, my motivation was I wanted to be the person that keeps them in the Football League – to score the winning goal.

“I have done that and it is just an unbelievable feeling.

I wanted to be the person that keeps them in the football league

Jordan Hugill

“It was the greatest moment in my career by far and you cannot describe the feeling, we have all fought so hard for this moment.

“I can’t imagine how the other lads feel, those that have been here all season.

“Coming here, I wanted to keep Pools in the Football League because it has always been Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Pools in the league.

“So, to play a part in history is just unbelievable.

“I have made my mark by scoring the goal – that was my plan all along!

“It was a moment that was meant to be, I believe.”

Hugill was booked in the eighth minute for an over-zealous challenge and he was walking a disciplinary tightrope thereafter, eventually subbed with Marlon Harewood coming on to help finish the job Hugill started.

And the striker was full of praise for his hardworking team-mates.

Hugill added: “You just had to be there in the dressing room afterwards, everybody was shouting for beers - everyone going mental!

“The manager had worked so hard on getting the shape right, everything right and just to do exactly what we did, which was unbelievable.

“The defending was excellent, especially in the latter stages of the second half and we got what we deserved in the end.”

Moore went with an attacking 4-4-2 system, with Hugill and strike partner Scott Fenwick leading the line.

Both produced man of the match displays, not allowing the Exeter defence to settle all game.

And they both got their rewards with a goal apiece to cap the final home game of the season in some style.

Hugill added: “We never let their defence settle, someone commented afterwards that it was the non-league in us coming out!

“We were both up for the fight, and that is what got me in trouble first half.

“Scott is a great lad and he will run his socks off all day, same as me, and we both got our rewards.

“Scott took his goal really well, gambling off my flick and slotting it home.

“It was the same with Tish [Aaron Tshibola] sliding me in and I put my head down and just hit it.”