Hartlepool United's 5-1 win at Chesterfield analysed as Dave Challinor picks up first league win in style
Dave Challinor picked up his first league win as Hartlepool United manager on Tuesday night, and what a win it was!
After getting off to a perfect start at Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, Challinor and Pools had been frustrated following consecutive 2-2 draws.
But their response at Chesterfield was as impressive as it was emphatic with braces from Gus Mafuta and Gime Toure as well as a devastating finish from Luke James seeing United claim their biggest away victory since 2004.
After throwing away 2-0 leads in each of their last two away games in the National League, there risked being a sense of déjà vu when Peter Kioso nodded the ball into his own net on the stroke of half-time to make it 2-1.
But Toure’s stunning effort two minutes after the restart restored parity as Pools kicked on from there to claim their biggest win of the season.
Both Toure and Josh Hawkes made their first starts under Challinor in place of Nicke Kabamba and the injured Gavan Holohan. It’s fair to say both took their opportunities brilliantly with Toure taking his tally to 11 for the season as they hit the halfway stage.
Most would say Hartlepool don’t have a 20 goal a season striker but the Frenchman is well on course to deliver if he keeps his form going.
As the scoreline would suggest, this was up there with one of Pools' best displays of the season.
While Pools were excellent, Chesterfield were abysmal as they dropped back into the relegation zone.
The victory takes Hartlepool back into the top half and just nine points off the top of the table. It’s just one win, but can we start believing again?
Looking at the bigger picture, it’s just one defeat in nine for United and in that time they’ve secured 3-0, 4-1 and 5-1 victories.
In nine games they’ve scored more goals and won as many games as they did in their opening 16 matches of the season under Craig Hignett.
Now the team are starting to deliver, they just need to remain grounded, keep their focus and put together a string of results.