The key points from Hartlepool United's 2-1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge as Dave Challinor's side remain second in the National League

Hartlepool United’s unbeaten run in the National League stretched to 12 matches following a 2-1 Good Friday win against Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 5:02 pm

Rhys Oates’ first half strike was cancelled out by Dagenham midfielder Matthew Robinson before Gavan Holohan’s second half header saw Pools claim another three points on home turf.

It's the 10th win in 11 home games for Hartlepool as they remained second in the National League table with nine games remaining.

An injury blow

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Gavan Holohan of Hartlepool United heads their 2nd and winning goal 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)

The clash was the second meeting between the sides in 10 days after Pools won the reverse fixture 1-0 thanks to a Luke Armstrong header.

Last weekend, Hartlepool picked up a 1-1 draw against play-off rivals Stockport County with Challinor making two changes to his side for the match back at Victoria Park.

Jamie Sterry and Rhys Oates passed late fitness tests to start while a training injury for Ryan Johnson saw Timi Odusina return to the starting line-up.

Johnson faces a spell on the sidelines after hyper-extending his knee but there is no clear prognosis yet.

Nicky Featherstone of Hartlepool United in action with Matt Robinson 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)

Meanwhile, Luke Molyneux dropped to the bench in Oates’ place while new signing Richie Bennett was named on the bench following his loan arrival from Stockport.

A first half of two halves

Pools threatened from the start with David Ferguson, Mark Shelton and Oates all coming close before the latter found the net after 21-minutes.

Some good build-up play from Lewis Cass and Sterry down the right found Oates in a dangerous position in the Daggers’ penalty area. The forward’s low drive found the bottom left corner via a deflection to give the hosts a deserved lead.

Pools have been excellent at seeing out games after taking the lead this season but things unfolded slightly differently this time out.

After the hosts took the lead, Dagenham started to get the ball into more threatening areas and just after the half-hour mark, they found themselves level.

Myles Weston’s cross from the right was glanced into the left side of the goal by Matthew Robinson to make it 1-1.

From there, the Daggers looked the more threatening side heading into half-time as Pools looked to regain their composure after conceding a rare goal on home turf.

After the break, the visitors had a great opportunity to take the lead after Lewis Cass’ miss-hit pass fell to Angelo Balanta, who broke through on goal before being well stopped by Ben Killip.

Set-piece specialists

With the game hanging in the balance at 1-1, Nicky Featherstone's pin-point delivery from the right was met by a bullet header from Holohan to make it 2-1.

The Irishman’s eighth of the campaign and second header in as many games to put Hartlepool back in the driving seat.

From there, Pools were able to restrict Dagenham to a handful of speculative efforts as the closing stages saw the introduction of Richie Bennett for his Pools debut with Oates making way.

The Stockport County loanee gave Pools a different option up front as he threatened in the air and set-up Holohan who dinked the ball just wide of the right post in the final minute of normal time as the match ended 2-1 despite some late Dagenham pressure.

All in all, a good Friday for Pools.

Pools XI: Killip; Ferguson, Odusina, Liddle, Cass, Sterry; Featherstone, Shelton (Williams 57), Holohan; Oates (Bennett 74), Armstrong (White 85)

Pools subs not used: Donaldson, Molyneux

Pools bookings: Ferguson (36), Shelton (56)

Dagenham XI: Justham; Rance, Clark, McCallum (McQueen 76), Balanta, Weston, Robinson, Wright, Vilhete (Saunders 72), Jones, Gordon

Dagenham subs not used: Reynolds, Sagaf, Khan

Dagenham bookings:

Referee: Adam Herezeg

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