Pools have last word in late drama
HARTLEPOOL United can’t help but do it the hard way. And the dramatic way.
Pools snatched their second lastditch winner of the week at Solihull Moors where Jon Franks slotted home in the final minute of stoppage time.
The former Ross County forward’s fifth goal of the season lifted Craig Harrison’s team to 13th in the National League, just one point outside the play-offs.
It came just days after Michael Woods had headed a winner in the last minute of added time in the 1-0 victory over Barrow at Victoria Park. But this was just as good. Franks’s cool right-foot finish was a remarkable response from Pools who had just got pegged back at 1-1 following conceding a disputed 86th-minute penalty.
“That was never in a hundred years a penalty,” said Harrison of sub Richard Brodie’s fall under Carl Magnay’s tackle.
“Was it the wind that blew him over? He’s done his job and got the decision and the lad has tucked it away.
“But the lads showed the grit, character, determination, commitment and togetherness to go and win the game.
“We showed again today that we have a winning mentality and we won’t just settle for a point away from home.
“If you are looking at the bigger picture a point away from home might be a good point if you win your home matches.
“But the boys went for the win in those last few minutes and got us a fantastic result.”
Playing in front of a record Damson Park crowd, and a new manager, Solihull were unrecognisable from the side who have slid to sec- ond bottom spot.
With Richard Money in the dugout the home players seemed inspired by the occasion.
Pools were fortunate to survive in the final minute of the half when George Carline’s free header was saved by Scott Loach on to his crossbar before the ball was scrambled away.
Harrison reacted to a subdued first half by making double change for the second 45.
Jack Munns and Rhys Oates came on for Lewis Hawkins and James Thorne and what a change as Pools were ahead inside 60 seconds.
Munns produced some super work on the left of area and his cross was turned into the net by Oates from inside the six-yard box.
Devante Rodney fired wide soon after before his powerful 57th-minute drive stung the hands of Moors stopper Nathan Vaughan.
Pools looked as though they were heading to a professional one-goal win until Matthew Donohue pointed to spot after Brodie went to ground from Magnay’s challenge.
Captain Carter assumed responsibility and sent Loach the wrong way from 12 yards.
Would Pools have to settle from a point? Not this team. Munns delivered a last-minute free-kick into the box and when it was flicked on, Franks applied the finish.
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