The National League playoff final have been confirmed after a second club advances through after winning their semi final tie.
Going into the game, we knew that the winner would go on to play Torquay United, who went on to beat Notts County 4-2 after extra-time on Saturday afternoon.
The much anticipated final controversially takes place at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate on the 20th of June, not too bad for the Gulls, but the decision did miff off the northern clubs.
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Stockport County, who finished third in regular season, took on Hartlepool United who finished fourth and beat Bromley in last Saturday’s quarter-final. How did the meeting play out? Take a look below…
Both sides settled into the game well, there was a good atmosphere with 2,500 fans inside Edgeley Park, however and more sadly no Pools fan with only home fans allowed.
Best move of the game for came for the Pools after 10 minutes and as expected Oates was the man at the heart of it as he burst down the right flank before attempting to find a man in the middle. Armstrong saw his shot blocked, as was Shelton’s on the follow-up.
After 30 minutes, it proved to be a very even contest, with little between the two sides at that moment. Clear cut chances were few and far between, it had been very warm though.
Pools was competing well with Armstrong and Oates plenty of running. The game was a cagey one though became quite stop-start.
There was no goals by the break, Rhys Oates has had a couple of openings late on in the half but neither tested the keeper, the first dragged well wide of the post.
There was still a long way still to go and the second half saw more chances created at both ends, Shelton had a strong penalty shout after he was tripped inside the area.
Stockport looked to get away with one there, maybe Shelton went down a little too easily.
Up the other end, James was quick to gather at his near post. An evenly poised game but still goalless.
On the 68th minute, the game was opening up now with chances at both ends.
Everyone in the ground was set for a very tense last 20 minutes here, with chances now at both ends.
Newby had a brilliant chance for Stockport but he miscued his shot and it went wide before Pools cleared the danger.
Pools was seeing more sight of goal at the other end too but no real clear cut chance so far.
Then finally we saw a goal scored. Oates from 20-yards with a fine, low strike and Pools were now ahead with 15 minutes to go.
A superb finish from the in-form top scorer.
Deadlock broken 🙌
— The National League (@TheVanaramaNL) June 13, 2021
The late goal was enough for the Pools to do it. They beat Stockport County and reach the final against Torquay United next Sunday afternoon at Bristol City, who’ll secure promotion to League Two?
Fans gave their reaction with the National League playoff final confirmed after a second club advances through…
@MrAndyroo81: Brad James was phenomenal today
@john__sharpe: That’s what the best manager in the league gets you absolute masterclass
@GuiseppiJoe: Yeeeesssssssss bring it on.
@Philearlsurgeon: Brilliant result, keep it going!
@philbirdsall65: Yes congratulations lads massive massive win. Oates again!!
@Keithhutch30: Absolutely brilliant
@JamieHall97_: Listen I don’t have much in life but what I’ve got is a team to be proud of and my god I’m fucking proud, no matter what happens next week the team from this year will always have my respect, but dave Challinor has earned my heart what a bloke, it won’t last forever but my god…
@TheWillTommo: YES POOOOOOOOOLLLS BRING THIS FORM TO BRISTOL
@wiktormorrell: You fucking beauties 😍😍😍😍
@bripowell91: GET IN THERE LADS!! 💙👏🏻
@durhamchris1983: Dave Challinor masterclass
@jishkc: Superb. Brilliant lads
@JackAshmann: Challinors blue and white army
@hallydesigns: That was an incredible performance in such a high pressured game. Every player was superb. Well done Pools!
@Poolieboy1Les1: Get in there my beauties. Well done to you all. I’m crying my fucking eyes out with joy.
@Steve95564510: Congrats lads done yourselves proud albeit the hard way. Now let’s finish off the job!!
@Thes0nofg0d (Replying to @StockportCounty): Gutted with that results but we were the better side on the day they should of had a man sent off but ref bottled nothing but top spot next season
@Jammie81Toms: What a season though major leap forward a few additions and were a league challenger great season otherwise last time we lost on a playoff we won the league the following year just saying.
@lp_Nixon: STrongESt sqUAd in NoN lEAguE hiSToRY
@chinstroker1862: Don’t know what was worse your performance or your fans….
@Darlojames3: U had one fucking job
@BillyBy17: I’m still struggling to see what our tactics supposedly were, no urgency constantly looking to go backwards or sideways, very very disappointing
@DKosylo: Was hoping for a Stockport win… club your size and fan base should be in the football league. See you at Meadow Lane next season!
@maphyo79: Not the best performance. The team just didn’t click today. Well done Hartlepool and good luck for the final. Next year, we need to be number 1 come season end. #stockportcounty
@BillyLarkin93: That’s what happens when you spend 90 minutes fucking around, not even trying to have a decent attempt
@paul_e_bailey: Even at 1–0 down in the final ten minutes, it still seemed like there was no urgency. Pathetic!
@Deafboy99: Microcosm of our season as a whole. Too many players who think they’re better than they are, not enough urgency, strange tactics, too much pass pass pass hoof, too many cheaply given away balls. All this whilst worryingly loading the club up with unsustainable debt.
@Longy19: Everything about that was rubbish and weird, atmosphere flat, pies a rip off, couldn’t hit a barn door. Roll on next season
@ClassicCounty: Fuckin hell lads, could have had a go.
@andybooth81: Got what we deserved, we’re so cautious at home – far too many performances like that this season. Been miles better away all season
@spoldham: Sounded like we just didn’t turn up today
@skinnywinger: Gutted they deserved more but that’s life.
@NobbyHall3: Hearts just weren’t in it today. No passion, I bet this is a similar story in the England game too.
@pdaddymac: Gutted, Hartlepool were just better. At least the tickets will be cheaper next year!
It will be Hartlepool in the Playoff Final!!!!
They will face Torquay for a play in the Football League. pic.twitter.com/3pzldjZ6NK
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 13, 2021
— Paul Donaghy (@Pauldon14) June 13, 2021