Hartlepool United picked up a vital win in the most dramatic fashion as they defeated Swindon Town 2-1. Late strikes from Connor Jennings and Oli Finney embodied the Never Say Die spirit, cancelling out Swindon’s early goal.
The game started in the worst-possible fashion for Pools as Swindon took an early lead. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy picked the ball from a quick throw-in and hammered the ball beyond Stolarczyk in the fourth minute.
Swindon saw plenty of the ball in the next ten minutes, but Pools had the better of the chances in the opening exchanges. First, Umerah went down under a challenge in the box and then Jennings’ header flicked the top of the crossbar.
A great bit of play almost gave Callum Cooke a tap-in, but Swindon’s last-minute clearance kept the visitors ahead going into the break.
Jamie Sterry was an important figure at both ends of the pitch in the second half, clearing from Hepburn-Murphy before having a fierce strike saved well by Brynn. Another Jennings header threatened the Swindon goal as we entered the final half-hour, but still the visitors held firm.
Swindon thought they had a second in the 73rd minute, but Charlie Austin’s header was adjudged to be offside. Pools continued to apply pressure, with Pruti and Jennings both going close. Swindon had another chance through Hutton, but his effort was wide.
Then, with three minutes to go - the goal came! Good play around the box saw McDonald find Jennings in the box, and he smashed the ball into the roof of the net for parity.
As the sides entered eight minutes of added time, Shade fired wide for Swindon, but it was Pools in the ascendancy. After banging at the door for the entire second half, Pools weren’t going to be content with a draw.
Old Finney drove through the middle of Swindon’s defence and smashed a low, left-footed strike beyond Brynn to bag his first goal for Hartlepool United. The Suit Direct Stadium erupted as the midfielder was swamped by his teammates next to the Town End.
Pools XI: Stolarczyk; Sterry, Dodds, Murray (McDonald 57), Pruti, Ferguson; Kemp (Crawford 85), Sylla, Cooke (Finney 85); Umerah (Hamilton 57), Jennings
Subs: Killip, Foran, Feathestone