New boss makes the perfect start as Hartlepool United Women beat Alnwick Town to move within a point of safety

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New Hartlepool United Women's manager Matt Gatiss said Sunday's 1-0 win over Alnwick Town was "everything we needed it to be".

Gatiss, who has almost a decade's worth of experience in various coaching and management roles in the North East, was appointed last week with Pools three points from safety and with just two games left to go.

And the new boss made the perfect start, masterminding a hard-fought 1-0 win over mid-table Alnwick at the weekend.

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It took Lottie Portas just 27 seconds to open the scoring with a strike from the edge of the box and the hosts held on to secure an all-important three points, their second win in three matches.

Gatiss made the perfect start to life in the Pools hotseat as his new side moved to within a point of safety.Gatiss made the perfect start to life in the Pools hotseat as his new side moved to within a point of safety.
Gatiss made the perfect start to life in the Pools hotseat as his new side moved to within a point of safety.

The result leaves the ladies level on points with third bottom Harrogate, who have a better goal difference but have played all 22 of their games this term.

That means that Pools need a point from their final game of the season, Sunday's visit of sixth-placed Sunderland West End, to avoid relegation.

Gatiss was delighted with the battling spirit shown by his side, who have ensured that it's all to play for ahead of the final day.

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"It was everything we needed it to be, in terms of what we were looking for performance-wise and what we said at the start," he said.

"I said to the girls at the start that we've had really limited time training, we've had two sessions.

"The aim of the game was just to win the game.

"It was just get structure, start building, be disciplined and try and adapt to what we want to try and do.

"The girls did that really, really well.

"First half, we controlled it, it was just maybe a bit loose at times and the referee gave some soft free-kicks which put us under pressure, but we dealt with each one.

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"Going forward, we looked a threat and on another day I think we could've scored four or five.

"That's confidence, we are where we are in terms of league position and stuff.

"We're in a bit of a false position, this isn't a squad that should be where we are, and today we showed that.

"When we've got a bit of structure, got a bit of organisation, we can compete with teams.

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"Alnwick made it difficult for us in the second half, they kind of threw the kitchen sink at us as it became a bit chaotic.

"We adapted to it, it became a bit more controlled and then towards the end we saw it out for a big three points."

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