Set-piece proves crucial once again for Dave Challinor as Hartlepool United maintain unbeaten run with 2-1 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge

Dave Challinor was pleased to already have three points in the bag before the majority of Hartlepool United’s promotion rivals kicked off on Good Friday.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 4:20 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd April 2021, 4:26 pm

Pools were one of two early bank holiday kick-offs as they claimed a 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park to go 12 games unbeaten in the National League.

Elsewhere, Notts County beat Wrexham 1-0 at Meadow Lane to move up to fourth in the table before the three o’clock matches went ahead.

At The Vic, goals from Rhys Oates and Gavan Holohan either side of Matthew Robinson’s first half header was enough to see Hartlepool claim another important three points in their promotion push.

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Hartlepool manager, Dave Challinor  during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham and Redbridge at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Friday 2nd April 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Hartlepool manager, Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham and Redbridge at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Friday 2nd April 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“We started the game really well and how we didn't get a penalty I don't know,” Challinor said.

"I was so blatant and Adam [Herezeg] is a good referee, I like him but maybe it just came too early in the game for a decision to be made.

"We got the goal which we deserved and had the chance to kick on and should have won the game inside the opening 25-minutes but they got the equaliser and the momentum swung in their favour.

"We spoke at half-time about getting back to where we were playing at the start and we did. There were a couple of nervy moments at the end but it was good to see out the three points.

“I've been speaking about set-pieces, it's a great ball in and a great header from Gav. It's great to have three points in the bag when other teams are just about to kick-off.”

In under two weeks, Pools have done the double over a resurgent Dagenham side that Challinor feels are far stronger than their league position suggests.

“Dagenham are at their best now," he said. “They've changed things from where they were previously and are a lot better than their position suggests.

"For us, it's about finding a way to win because games are all different.

"If you make a mistake at the start of the season, you have the rest of the season to get over it, if you make a mistake now, it can decide your season and that’s the approach we need going into these final games.”

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