MANAGER Chris Turner was left beaming with pride after watching his Hartlepool United side pick up three valuable points away at Exeter City.
Pools were a man down after midfielder Andy McAvoy was sent off with half an hour left for retaliation, but even that did not dampen the Pools players’ spirits.
A delighted Turner said: “I am very proud of all my players, to go down to ten men with 30 minutes remaining was a real blow but the lads who stayed on the pitch all battled hard and it showed.
“If we show the same commitment over the next few games then I don’t think we will have too many problems.
“I was aiming for a good points return over the next few games and going by this performance I have no reason to change my mind.
“Our fitness is really beginning to show against our opponents and this is the time during a season when fitness is important.”
Gary Jones’s two goals gave Pools their second successive away victory at St James’s Park after they won by the same 2-1 scoreline the season before.
Turner reserved special praise for Jones, who scored only his fourth and fifth goals of the season.
He added: “We all know that he has been going through a bit of a lean spell but all strikers go through these.
“But because of his workrate he has rarely come under criticism from Hartlepool United fans. That criticism could well have started though because strikers have to score goals and Gary hasn’t been doing that.”
Jones netted in the 31st and 78th minute before Exeter’s Chris Curran got one back in the 74th minute. Pools: Hollund, Knowles, Barron, Westwood, Lee, Clark, Miller, Stephenson, McAvoy, Jones, Henderson.