The two National League playoff semi final ties have been set as a second team advances through following another cracking quarter final.
On Saturday evening, Notts County came back from 2-1 down to then beat Chesterfield 3-2, setting up a game against Torquay United who already booked their spot.
Sunday saw Hartlepool United, who finished fourth in the top tier of non league football, take on Bromley who claimed seventh on the final day of the regular season, replacing Wrexham.
Going into this game, we knew that the winners would travel to Stockport County, who finished third, in semi-final on Sunday the 13th of June with a 12:00pm kick off and then the final taking place at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate on the 20th of June.
The Vic was bouncing as both sets of players made their way out of the tunnel, and boy were they in for a treat.
Less than three minutes in, Holohan was wiped out by Bingham and the Bromley midfielder went into the book. Earlier, Oates dragged an effort well wide on the volley after the first sight on goal. Holohan was spotted limping, a concern for Dave Challinor.
By the 10th minute, Pools enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges. Oates dragged an effort wide and Pools had a succession of three corners. Bromley looked like they were struggling.
Armstrong then went down with a knock before getting back on his feet and play continued.
Rhys Oates puts Hartlepool United ahead with a superb finish in the 17th minute.
Featherstone picked him out with a superb long ball, Oates showed great strength and composure before finishing from the right-hand side of the penalty area, to put Pools ahead.
Pools then went 2-0 up three minutes later!
Superb play again by Rhys Oates, he chased a longball hard and won it, and then cut the ball back to Armstrong, he took a touch, made some room and finished well.
You could see the fans were really enjoying this one, and even more so after going 3-0 up, with all the goals coming within seven minutes, Rhys Oates the man who got the third.
It’s the Rhys Oates show! 🤩
Hartlepool’s player of the season showing up for the biggest game of the season!
2 Goals ⚽⚽
1 Assist 🅰️
24 minutes ⏱️
Remarkable 👏 pic.twitter.com/ORp8iJeqwd
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 6, 2021
The first half ended, with Bromley seeing one effort cleared off the line, Gary Liddle went in with the header but that aside Pools were fully deserving of their strong lead. They got one foot in the semi-final against Stockport County next weekend.
On the 48th minute, it was game on, with Bromley getting one back, causing some concerns in the stands.
Half-time sub Alabi was there with the free header from a corner. Really poor defending from Pools, and the atmosphere inside the ground turned quieter.
The perfect start to the second half for Bromley! 🙌
Alabi pulling one back 🤜
The start of a comeback? 👀 pic.twitter.com/0EDzhJtNX5
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) June 6, 2021
It became a much more even contest after Bromley got one back, they were clearly much improved, mind, they couldn’t have been much worse after that first half.
Not too many chances at either end since the Ravens’ goal. Pools had a corner but it was cleared. Challinor still not making a sub whilst Bromley already made two after the restart.
Fortunately for Hartlepool the away side could only find one more goal instead of two, Webster making it 3-2 on the 92nd minute, meaning the National League playoff semi final ties were set as a second team advances through.
5 June 2021 – Notts County 3–2 Chesterfield
6 June 2021 – Hartlepool United 3-2 Bromley
12 June 2021 – Torquay United v Notts County
13 June 2021 – Stockport County v Hartlepool United
20 June 2021
2:00pm kick off
Torquay United or Notts County v Stockport County or Hartlepool United
ON HARTLEPOOL’S TWEET:
@JackAshmann: What a performance from the lads, tactically spot on from challinor and what a ridiculous game from Feaths
@__HarryBrown__: Dave Challinor is taking us on a football league tour!
@wiktormorrell: Get in there lads. Well done ⚽️⚽️⚽️🍺
@_tombaxter17: Up the fucking pools what a team
@KittyCatJack4: And breathe!!!!! – Fucking hell…… always a drama with Pools! Well done lads. On to Stockport
@hallydesigns: Jeez, need a lie down now
@djstormo: Well deserved
@schladamheim: up the fucking pools
@GreavesBell14: We’re all Pools, aren’t we?
@HawayMason1908: Get that up y’a
@AkersLewy: Phew. Closer than you’d like in the end but a good all round performance.
@euandev: Play off final calling
@N1UTD: First half was unbelievable
@durhamchris1983: Job done. Well done Pools.
— Kieron (@KieronJW) June 6, 2021
ON BROMLEY’S TWEET:
@Jacob46732125: What a season we have had
@TheMetChristofi: Good fight back in the second half. Shame about the first half. Good we made it this far, hopefully we can progress next season
@capozzilowe: Unlucky but proud to even get in this place tell me that we would get play offs a few months ago I would have laughed can’t wait for next season
@TonyMcPartlan: We made a game of it second half against good opposition. Incredible season… Onto the next
@jamesdodd1993: Every year this team has improved bit by bit and moving in the right direction. There is so much to be excited about long-term (especially with AW getting his first full season in charge). Another great season lads, looking forwards to the next one already
@CafcBen2021: Good fightback second half. Shame it wasn’t enough but what a season. Roll on the start of next season.
@theelitephilz: If we didn’t sleep in the first half things could of been different but still well done for trying and getting two goals