Matthew Bates reacts to Hartlepool United's FIRST win of the National League season

Matthew Bates.
Matthew Bates.

Hartlepool United have shaken the 'monkey off their back' with their first win - that's the view of manager Matthew Bates.

Luke James' first goal in his third spell at Pools got Bates' men off and running just after half-time before Nicky Featherstone produced a bit of magic for what turned out to be the winner.

And despite a late wobble, in which Maidenhead's Alan Massey got one back from a set-piece, Pools got over the line.

Beaten just once in their opening five, results start to have a different complexion, especially with three points now done and dusted.

"It feels very nice to get the first win,” said manager Matthew Bates.

"That’s us now, the money is off our backs. Now we go on and make a statement in this league.

"I think over the 90 minutes the win was thoroughly deserved.

"The players are over the moon."

While some on the terraces were getting a bit jittery that the team had failed to win in their first four - that was never the case in the dressing room.

Bates said: "Without the first win there was no panic with the players.

"They have seen how they can perform in games. They see that they have been hard done by.

"But still, this is a massive weight off the players' shoulders."

One player who particularly caught the eye for Bates was Paddy McLaughlin.

The manager admitted the players have been working on seeing a game out in the final five minutes on the training pitches at Peterlee - and it sounds like McLaughlin's runs into the corner to run down time were just what Bates ordered.

"I thought when Paddy came on he settled the game down a bit," said Bates.

"He was composed when we needed and that's a real credit to him."