'It feels amazing' - Hero Rhys Oates reacts as Hartlepool United beat Stockport County to reach National League play-off final

‘It feels amazing!’

Sunday, 13th June 2021, 2:19 pm

Hero Rhys Oates summed up his emotions in just three words as Hartlepool United reached the National League play-off final against Torquay United next Sunday afternoon.

Oates’ superb low 20-yard strike proved the only goal in a tightly contested semi-final in the heat over in the North West.

The home side were backed by 2,500 fans but it was the Pools bench and squad celebrating at the end as Pools reached the play-off final.

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Rhys Oates of Hartlepool United shoots and scores their first goal. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Rhys Oates of Hartlepool United shoots and scores their first goal. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Reflecting on the victory, Oates said: “We worked hard and knew if we could play like we can, get them moving in this heat then we would do well.

"The manager just asked the same of us, keep a high intensity and how we can play out from the back.

“It doesn’t always have to be the channel balls, get them moving as it’s warm and we did that.

"We knew if we stayed in the game, make it hard for them and keep the ball, their fans will start getting a bit edgy and not know what’s going to happen, keep playing, don’t have any pressure on us.”

Looking ahead to the final at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium, in-form Pools forward Oates added: “It feels amazing.

“It will be a great day, I have friends and family going down, it will be a great experience and we have to enjoy it.

“It was our toughest game we have played this season, second half last week showed how tough play-off games are.

“You just have to keep going and we did,” added the Pools top scorer.

The National League promotion final takes place against Torquay United at Ashton Gate on June 20 (2pm kick-off).

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