Revealed! The statistics that prove why fans should NEVER leave a Hartlepool United game early

Hartlepool United striker Devante Rodney shoots at goal.
Hartlepool United striker Devante Rodney shoots at goal.

This season, it doesn't pay to leave Victoria Park early.

Not when you’ve got a near one-in-four chance of seeing a goal scored in the last five minutes.

That’s almost two-and-a-half times the average ratio of late goals in the Premier League

The last-gasp drama for Craig Harrison’s side this term has memorably included Michael Woods’ winner against Barrow and Jonathan Franks’ injury-time strike at Solihull Moors.

But there was late pain on Saturday, when Sutton United’s equaliser robbed Pools of two points as they aim to climb closer to the National League play-off places.

Yet, just how often have Pools been involved in some late drama this season? And where would they be in the National League table had those goals not gone in?

Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.

Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.

Ahead of tonight's visit of Tranmere Rovers, we did the maths and found out...

In 17 league and cup games this season, Pools have seen eight goals fly in during the final five minutes - four in their favour and four against.

That means that 23 per cent of the goals they have scored or conceded have come in the dying minutes of games – compared with English football’s rough average of 10 per cent.

Recent research into goals scored in the top flight found only 16 per cent of all Premier League goals scored since 1992 have come in the final 10 minutes of games – albeit most of those have been scored in the last five minutes.

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So how would the National League table look if you removed the late goals from Pools’ games?

Actually, not that different.

Harrison’s side have only gained two points in the final five minutes this year - courtesy of Woods’ strike against Barrow - and surrendered the same amount against Sutton.

And late goals elsewhere in the division have only cost Pools one place in the table.

The three teams immediately above them - Maidstone, Maidenhead and Halifax - have also seen plenty of late drama.

But only Maidstone have felt any benefit, as Jay Saunders’ side would be three points better off if you remove goals scored in the final five minutes.

Maidenhead would be on four points fewer, meaning Pools could have climbed one place and closed the gap on Halifax - whose late goals have had no bearing on their points tally.

With more than half the season still to come, there is likely to be plenty more late drama at The Vic.

So supporters - never mind the team - should make sure they see out injury time.

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