‘I enjoyed the first 85 minutes’ – Dave Challinor reflects on Hartlepool United's 7-2 win at Wealdstone to stay top of the National League
His side have just scored seven goals away from home and picked up their biggest ever National league win but there’s still a tinge of disappointment for manager Dave Challinor – such are the standards at Hartlepool United.
A Richie Bennett hat-trick, a Rhys Oates brace and goals from Nicky Featherstone and Mark Shelton saw Pools lead 7-0 at Wealdstone before the hosts scored two late consolation goals to reduce the deficit.
It still didn’t prevent Pools staying top of the National League table with six games remaining but the Hartlepool boss was quick to point out his frustration with the final five minutes after a thoroughly impressive and dominant display.
“I enjoyed the first 85 minutes,” Challinor admitted.
"It was a brilliant performance and result and we’ve spoke about what we needed to go and do against a team like Wealdstone who don’t have a lot to play for.
"Our attitude and intent were unbelievably good. To score seven goals away from home, to come away with a tinge of disappointment with the two late goals.
"If I'm a defender or a goalkeeper, I'm seething to concede in the manner we did after being 7-0 up.
“We created lots of chances and our supporters would be saying that a scoreline like that was due to happen to someone eventually. Thankfully it’s happened and hopefully not for the last time.
“It was pleasing to finally get a penalty, first one since the opening day of the season but it was like busses where two come along at once.
“Overall, it’s a great result for us, only worth three points but the manner of our performance was outstanding.”
On Bennett’s hat-trick, Challinor added: “I’m not sentimental when it comes to taking penalties, I always think the penalty taker should take it. But with Feaths scoring the first, when we won the second penalty, we were shouting for Richie to take it.
“He deserved it and it was a great performance from him.
“To be top with six games to go is a great position to be in. It's where we want to be and we won't shy away from it. If Weymouth is rearranged, we have time to prepare and get everyone right for the bank holiday weekend.”