Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor hailed his players’ character after they came from behind to make it six matches unbeaten at Victoria Park since promotion to Sky Bet League Two with a 2-1 victory over Northampton.
Luke Molyneux struck a cushioned volleyed winner from substitute Joe Grey with six minutes remaining to lift Pools up to eighth after a run of four games without a win.
Less than two minutes after Sam Hoskins’ second of the season had put Northampton ahead in the 51st minute, Pools full-back David Ferguson headed the hosts level from Jamie Sterry’s delivery.
And Molyneux’s winner means Hartlepool have now collected 16 points from a possible 18 on home turf since leaving the National League behind last season.
Challinor said: “It’s really satisfactory. We need to show more character like that.
“It is a different feeling in how the game went on – frustrating from the sidelines for the first 50 minutes or so.
“We made some changes, changed the shape and the players were able to go and find a way, that is what was pleasing.
“We weren’t at our best for 55 minutes but we dragged out a result and three points is massively important for us.
“I am more than happy to score the first every week, that will do me, but what we need to do is show more in adversity.
“This shows it is within everyone, every person, being able to drag that result out.
“You need to show more and that will help us. Today we have won a game in a different way.
“We have not been at our best but we have created good opportunities, hopefully they will take that and hopefully they will not have to show it all the time.
“Northampton were good, so let’s not take anything away from them either.
“The longer the game went I felt we had a chance to take control, be positive and mix it up and put them under more pressure.
“Substitutes don’t always work out how you want but they did and the change of shape as well helped the team.”
Northampton, who have won only one of their last six league matches, enjoyed the better of the first-half chances but Hartlepool goalkeeper Ben Killip made a string of good saves from Hoskins and Aaron McGowan.
Cobblers boss Jon Brady said: “We have to be smarter and to concede in the manner we did on the counter-attack isn’t good, especially to concede twice.
“We went one up with a really well-taken goal and had to close the game out and instead we conceded quickly and we didn’t deal with the situation.
“They got down our sides too easily too often and got the goals from it. It’s so disappointing.
“They don’t give much away here at home and we have to take heart from the amount of chances we did create in the first-half.
“This is a long-term project here and – at the moment – we are conceding too many goals…is it down to a lack of confidence? That’s something we have to look at, but we have to defend better and learn from this.”
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