Hartlepool 3-2 Bromley: Rhys Oates scores twice for Pools in National League play-offs

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Rhys Oates in action for Hartlepool
Rhys Oates has now scored 17 goals in 38 National League appearances this season

Rhys Oates scored twice as Hartlepool saw off Bromley with a three-goal burst in seven first-half minutes to make the National League play-off semi-finals.

Oates ran on to a long ball and flicked the opener past keeper Mark Cousins.

And, after teeing up Luke Armstrong to calmly strike number two, Oates fired home a third from 18 yards.

Substitute James Alabi’s header gave Bromley hope, and Byron Webster made it 3-2 in injury time, but Pools held on to set up a semi-final with Stockport.

Alabi made it 3-1 within three minutes of the restart, the half-time substitute heading home after a well-worked short corner.

But despite a much-improved second half and fellow half-time sub Webster’s clever stoppage-time flick from Chris Bush’s long throw, Pools were always in control following an impressive first-half display led by front duo Oates and Armstrong.

Oates showed both strength and guile for the first goal and did so again to cut the ball back for Armstrong, who showed good touch before placing the second into the top corner.

The visitors trailed 3-0 when Oates found the bottom corner with a measured strike from the edge of the box after some neat interplay.

But Bromley could not build on Alabi’s neat header with chances at a premium in the second period.

Oates almost had a hat-trick but dragged a shot wide of the near post, while at the other end Billy Bingham’s deflected shot went narrowly wide.

Webster did make it 3-2 in the 93rd minute but Pools held on in a frantic final minute and will travel to Stockport on 13 June.

Line-ups

Hartlepool

Formation 4-4-2

  • 13James
  • 23Sterry
  • 5Odusina
  • 8Featherstone
  • 15Johnson
  • 4Liddle
  • 3FergusonSubstituted forDonaldsonat 83′minutes
  • 14HolohanSubstituted forFrancis-Angolat 80′minutes
  • 6Shelton
  • 29Armstrong
  • 11OatesBooked at 86minsSubstituted forElliottat 88′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Donaldson
  • 21Ravas
  • 26Francis-Angol
  • 27Elliott
  • 28Saunders

Bromley

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Cousins
  • 2Kizzi
  • 26MitchellBooked at 81mins
  • 20ArthursBooked at 54mins
  • 3FoxSubstituted forAlabiat 46′minutes
  • 5Bush
  • 4BinghamBooked at 3mins
  • 24Bridge
  • 18WilliamsonSubstituted forWebsterat 46′minutes
  • 19ForsterSubstituted forCampbellat 69′minutes
  • 9Cheek

Substitutes

  • 8Raymond
  • 10Alabi
  • 16Trotter
  • 17Webster
  • 27Campbell

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