Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor heaped praise his National League side for their will to win as they overcame League Two Exeter City in extra-time to book their berth in the third round of the FA Cup.
Exeter were reduced to 10-men late on before Josh Hawkes’ strike sealed Tuesday night’s 1-0 second round replay win at Victoria Park and a trip to Oxford United in the New Year.
Former AFC Fylde boss Challinor told Pools TV: “I enjoyed that performance massively. Even if we hadn’t won the game, what they gave really gave the fans something to cheer about so it’s a great night and that’s something we hope to replicate and have more of them back here.
“It was a proper cup tie but a tight game. It was a bit similar to Saturday and you think you’re going to get one chance to win it.
“When you go in to extra-time tactics go out of the window a little bit and it’s more about wanting to keep on going because they were feeling as bad as we were.
“One moment of quality won us the game and I thought our game management beyond that was outstanding – we played out the game well but still looked a threat at the same time.”
Their run to the third round is estimated to have netted Pools upwards of £150,000 and Challinor added: “The finances are huge for the club and we now have a big game going to Oxford who are flying in League One so we will go there with a real opportunity and we’ll enjoy it when it comes around.”
A delighted Hawkes retweeted the FA’s highlights of his goal within hours of the final whistle.
— Josh Hawkes (@Joshhawkes5) December 11, 2019
Images courtesy of hartlepoolunited.co.uk and YouTube