Last-gasp hero Michael Woods urges Pools to build on ‘great feeling’ of victory against Barrow

Michael Woods celebrates his late winner against Barrow with Nicky Deverdics (right). Picture by Tom Banks
Michael Woods celebrates his late winner against Barrow with Nicky Deverdics (right). Picture by Tom Banks

Match-winner Michael Woods has called on his Hartlepool United team-mates to continue their good run of form and be the side who every other team fears playing.

The midfielder nodded in Nicky Deverdics’ 97th-minute cross last night to give Pools all three National League points against a resolute Barrow, who had spurned several great chances themselves to return to Cumbria with maximum points.

The win was Pools’ fifth in eight games and moved them to 14th position, three points behind the play-off positions and just seven shy of leaders Macclesfield Town – ahead of Saturday’s visit to Solihull Moors.

“There was a great feeling in the dressing room after the game and, I have to say, it was probably a deserved win,” the 27-year-old smiled.

“The last six weeks we have done the the dirty side of the game a bit better, worked that bit harder and we have seen that it gets you rewards.

“There is not one team running away with it at the moment.

“We have lost one in eight.

“If we can find that consistency, put a few wins on the bounce together, keep this going, then the world is our oyster and that we can start to look ahead.”

Pools had struggled to break beyond Barrow’s five-man backline for the duration of the game, and defensive walls are becoming a common sight for Woods and his colleagues.

“It was a scrappy game, and it had the feel of the Eastleigh game a few weeks ago [when Pools lost 2-1],” he added.

“They came to frustrate us, started with a flat back five and that’s difficult to break down.

“Teams lift it when they come here, and we have seen a back five all too often and it will keep happening.

“If it takes a last-minute winner, then so be it.”

Woods was Pools’ bright spark and chance creator throughout the night, especially so in the last 30 minutes.

And he owed credit to his attacking forays to Craig Harrison’s right-hand man, Paul Jenkins.

“Jenks mentioned it before the game. He said I have got the licence to go forward,” Woods revealed.

“Especially with Nicky [Featherstone] sitting behind me, he allows me to get forward while he does a lot of the work that goes unnoticed, picking up the second balls and keeping us ticking over.

“The gaffer changed the formation to a diamond in the last 20 minutes and freed me up.

“The gaffer asked me to get in the box more and thankfully it has paid off.”