MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 14:31:09| >> :600:517216:517216:
Jun 20, 2021 at 2pm UK at Ashton Gate Stadium
HartlepoolHartlepool United
Torquay UtdTorquay United
Armstrong (35')
Johnson (7'), Oates (56'), Armstrong (80')
Lucas (90+5')
Moxey (45'), Lewis (56'), Little (76')
Hartlepool win 5-4 on penalties

Result: Hartlepool 1-1 Torquay (5-4 pens): Hartlepool promoted back to Football League

Result: Hartlepool 1-1 Torquay (5-4 pens): Hartlepool promoted back to Football League
© Reuters
Torquay goalkeeper Lucas Covolan threatened to derail Pools' quest to win the National League play-off final with a last-minute equaliser.

Hartlepool sealed their return to the English Football League after four years away despite a dramatic stoppage-time strike from Torquay goalkeeper Lucas Covolan threatening to derail their quest to win the Vanarama National League play-off final.

Luke Armstrong’s first-half strike looked to have secured Pools’ return to Sky Bet League Two, with Torquay seeing two Kyle Cameron goals ruled out, but right at the death Brazilian stopper Covolan intervened to make it 1-1.

His unexpected headed goal five minutes into time added on in Bristol gave Torquay another chance to end their seven-year stay in non-league, yet plucky Hartlepool prevailed nevertheless after extra-time and penalties.

Just eight minutes in Torquay looked to have gone ahead through Cameron, but Pools keeper Brad James had been impeded.

Rhys Oates – with 18 goals in all competitions this season – sparked Pools into life by driving forward and troubling Covolan with a low shot that proved tricky to smother.

Armstrong almost notched when connecting with Gavan Holohan’s effort, but the Gulls cleared only for the Salford loanee to come close again with a header that Covolan palmed away.

In the 36th minute, Armstrong did break through for Pools, collecting Oates’ rebound effort and blasting home off the crossbar.

The Gulls were brighter in the second half and just before the hour mark Cameron again had the ball in the net.

However, another foul on keeper James meant that goal was chalked off too; the quest for a leveller continued and few fans would have guessed from where or whom it would eventually come in the last minute of normal time.

Remarkably, Covolan – a former team-mate of Liverpool’s own keeper-turned-scorer Alisson Becker – followed a fine display in goal by delivering at the other end.

He raced into the Pools box for a Torquay corner, which was cleared, but when the ball was lumped back forward from deep on the right, Covolan rose to nod past James, stunning leggy Pools and forcing them to play 30 more minutes.

Shell-shocked, Hartlepool survived the first period without further damage, although Torquay did lose Jake Andrews to a nasty-looking injury, and while Pools pushed harder across the final 15, penalties could not be avoided.

Four straight misses got nerves jangling until six straight spot-kicks were converted and sudden death was required.

After Ryan Donaldson scored for Pools, Torquay’s Matt Buse saw his effort pushed on to the bar by James, confirming promotion for Dave Challinor’s men and banishing memories of Covolan’s sucker punch.

ID:452100:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect4242:
Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Finnish Veikkausliiga
NIFL Premiership
League of Ireland Premier
Welsh Premier League
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
J1 League
Premier League 2 - Div 1

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!