Matthew Bates proud of Hartlepool United as Football League survival fight goes to last day

Carl Magnay challenges Harry Pell in the Pools box. Picture by GARETH WILLIAMS/ AHPIX
Carl Magnay challenges Harry Pell in the Pools box. Picture by GARETH WILLIAMS/ AHPIX

Interim manager Matthew Bates spoke of his pride in Hartlepool United's players after a fighting performance at Cheltenham Town.

Pools lost 1-0 at Whaddon Road but they are still in with a chance of staying up after Newport County lost 2-1 at Carlisle United.

The gap between the Welsh side and Pools remains two points going into the last day of the season next Saturday.

Pools MUST beat title-chasing Doncaster AND hope Newport do not beat Notts County at Rodney Parade.

Bates was right to be proud - his side did everything but score against the Robins, for whom keeper Scott Brown was man of the match after key saves from Lewis Hawkins, Padraig Amond, sub Connor Simpson and Nicky Featherstone.

The only goal of the game came bang on the 19-minute mark, Danny Wright heading in from Harry Pell's cross but thereafter it was pretty much one way traffic but, for all their efforts, Pools could not get the better of Brown.

"They could not have given any more," said Bates.

"I think that will give the the confidence we can go and win next Saturday and hope Notts County can do us a favour.

"The chairman has made a change to try to get a reaction and we got one.

"We had chances, a lot more than they did that's for sure, but it wasn't to be.

"It wasn't for the lack of trying. On another day that would have been enough for us to win.

"I'm disappointed we didn’t get a result, but proud of the lads. They have everything they could give us."

Pools were roared on throughout by 704 away fans, hundreds decked out as French mime artists.

The supporters gave the players a great, and deserved, ovation at the end,

“The fans were superb again," said Bates. "They showed what they thought.

"They came in numbers, in the second half they were brilliant. They are disappointed in the way they season had gone, so for them to stay with us and come here like they did shows their class."