Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett admits he felt it was only a matter of time before his side broke down spirited Stamford to seal FA Cup progression yesterday.
Pools had to be patient against the Lincolnshire minnows, waiting more than an hour before Nicky Deverdics free-kick set them on their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
And Hignett says he was in no doubt that his players would eventually break down the Daniels, and record their first home win since April in the process.
The manager said: “We had to be patient – keep the ball keep the moving and we knew they would tire.
“We had some good movement, good rotation and we had to be patient.
“Sooner or later we were going to get in, we had efforts, hit the bar, but were in control and it was only a matter of time.”
The conditions were also a factor, according to Hignett.
Heavy rain just before kick off made the pitch a little difficult, so too did the rain.
Hignett said it was a factor, although he also heaped praise on Stamford for sticking to their game plan to frustrate Pools.
“It was going to take a goal to open then up and they work hard for the manager and stuck at it,” he said.
“Hats off to them for keeping to their game plan for the manager.
“It was tough conditions. But we kept it going, kept the ball moving, and showed a bit of quality with Nicky’s free kick.
“We also moved the ball about well. We see it in training every day. It clicked for us.
“In the end, it was a really professional display.”
Two goals in the final eight minutes, an own goal and a Billy Paynter strike, sealed Pools’ victory.
Hartlepool: Carson, Richards, Nsiala, Bates, Carroll, Woods (Hawkins 80), Featherstone (Orrell 86), Laurent, Alessandra (Paynter 81), Amond, Deverdics. Subs not used: Walker, Bartlett, Harrison, Martin. Goals: Deverdics 65, Gordon 82 og, Paynter 85.
Stamford: Donkin, Gordon, Salt, Miller (Robbins 63), Luto (King 71), Beeson, Duffy, Hill, Challinor, Brown (Sandy 59), Smith. Subs not used: Brown-Hill, McMillan, Batchelor, Hartley. Booked: Salt, Hill, Beeson, Challinor.
Att: 2,461. Ref: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria).
* On-loan Middlesbrough forward Harry Chapman, who turned 19 on Saturday, hit a hat-trick as Sheffield United routed Leyton Orient 6-0 at Bramall Lane to book their place in tonight’s second round draw.