Manager Dave Challinor felt Hartlepool were “worthy winners” after his side came from behind to beat Harrogate 3-2 in stunning fashion at Victoria Park.
Despite a bright start from Pools, Harrogate took control after reaching half-time two goals to the good when George Thomson’s 28th-minute opener was followed by an own goal from Neill Byrne.
But Pools’ change of shape resulted in three goals inside seven second-half minutes to seal the points.
David Ferguson volleyed Reagan Ogle’s cross inside the far corner in the 52nd minute before striker Mark Cullen levelled things up with a header a minute later.
Matty Daly’s stunning left-footed curler just before the hour secured a sixth win from seven unbeaten home games in Sky Bet League Two to climb up to seventh.
Challinor said: “It ends up the perfect afternoon. I will stick to the principles I don’t want it to be a habit. We got the three points, that’s what matters.
“Second half we were worthy winners. The game should have been over in the first 14 minutes.
“I changed it because of a little bit of everything, anger and definitely from the second goal we conceded, we switched off. The players knew I had an issue with that.
“The first 15 minutes I felt we should have been in front, momentum can switch and they got the goal and it came when they got a foothold in the game.
“Half-time we were 2-0 down and the game was close to being done. We looked in danger.
“The next goal was important. We had to decide what to do, we got the first goal in the first five minutes, the next in the next five and then we got ourselves in a winning position.
“I am delighted with the reaction in terms of the what the players gave us in adversity, pressure.”
Harrogate boss Simon Weaver was left frustrated by the turnaround, having urged his players to become more resilient in keeping the ball out.
He was satisfied with aspects of his side’s attacking play but didn’t think they coped with Hartlepool’s change of approach after the restart.
Weaver said: “We were really good first half and we knew the backline had to stay solid.
“We knew with this crowd, it’s incredible, the momentum in the game would shift if we didn’t deal with it. We needed a positive reaction when we conceded.
“We knew we would be up against it. It was the decision-making. It was making sure we are ruthless, that we have intensity about our defending.
“We let the wing-back (Ferguson) in for a volley, too easy. The second goal was a simple ball into the box and the final goal we haven’t defended well enough.
“We have the attacking instinct but we lack a defensive instinct to keep the ball out of the net.
“Whatever system they played we had to lay a glove, defend the tackle, defend the balls into the box. We weren’t steely enough when it matters.”
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