TWO LATE GOALS ADD TO POOLS’ ANGUISH

The Non-League Football Paper - - SATURDAY MATCH CENTRE - By Nick Lough­lin

DA­GEN­HAM showed what it’s like to be an in-form side – heap­ing more mis­ery on out of sorts Hartle­pool United.

Trail­ing 1-0 in the 90th minute, Dag­gers lev­elled through Ben Goodliffe and then carved out a dra­matic win­ner in the sec­ond minute of time added on through Matt Robin­son to com­plete the great es­cape.

It’s now six wins from seven for Peter Taylor’s men, while their hosts were left pick­ing the bones off a sev­enth suc­ces­sive de­feat for man­ager­less Pools.

Matthew Bates was sacked in mid­week, leav­ing Craig Hignett in tem­po­rary charge as Pools seek a sixth per­ma­nent boss in twoand-a-half years.

Hignett said: “It’s a sucker punch, I feel like I’ve been bat­tered. In parts I was so pleased, but it’s re­mem­bered for the end­ing.

“It’s hap­pened a lot to us with a soft un­der­belly – and it needs ad­dress­ing, but for 89 min­utes we were fan­tas­tic.’’

Pools started con­fi­dently and af­ter a hope­ful penalty shout for a trip on Josh Hawkes was re­jected, they were given a 13thminute spot-kick for an in­nocu­ous pull on Mark Kitch­ing.

Cap­tain Liam Noble, back in the start­ing XI af­ter be­ing dumped by ex-boss Bates for dis­ci­plinary reasons, made no mis­take for his ninth of the sea­son.

The Dag­gers weren’t of­fer­ing much go­ing for­ward, the clos­est they came was when a low Ol­lie Harfield shot was de­flected just wide by Ken­ton Richard­son.

Bu, even­tu­ally, af­ter Pools’ sub­sti­tute Con­nor New­ton felled Alex McQueen – the Dag­gers adamant the foul was in the area – the re­sult­ing free-kick found Goodliffe, who headed in from close range. Pools piled for­ward in search of a late win­ner and forced a dra­matic late cor­ner, but once the ball was cleared, the Dag­gers broke away and when Scott Loach par­ried a shot from Conor Wilkin­son, Robin­son was there to tap in. “To score two goals like we did keeps the win­ning run go­ing,” a de­lighed Robin­son said af­ter­wards. “I was pleased with my goal, a nice header, but there was space cre­ated for me at the back post. “We have loads of con­fi­dence, which showed at the end by stick­ing at it. We got one and knew we would go on and win it.’ “We stuck to the game­plan and showed our spirit and re­silience to keep go­ing.”

PICTURE: Shut­ter Press

GOOD LIFE! Ben Goodliffe heads Da­gen­ham’s equaliser

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