RELIEVED Ronnie Moore reflected on an “immense” win for his Hartlepool United side - but insisted it should have been far more comfortable.
Pools made hard work of beating Northampton Town last night but Marvin Morgan’s 51st minute strike proved enough to bag all three points and bring Moore’s side to within touching distance of the team’s above them.
No team from 16th place down won aside from Pools and with Cheltenham losing, the gap to third bottom - and safety - now stands at six points.
Moore praised his side’s performance in recording their third home win on the spin.
But he was left anxious on the touchline as Jack Compton and Marlon Harewood, twice, missed gilt edged second half opportunities to make it a far more comfortable night at Victoria Park.
In the end, the rearguard held off late pressure from Chris Wilder’s in-form Town side to seal the victory.
Moore said: “That was an immense result for us.
“It was always going to be a tight game considering the results they have had.
“We probably had the best chances in the first half - there wasn’t many - but the second-half got a bit livelier once we’d scored.
“I told them at half time to up the tempo because it was dead first half and we couldn’t get the crowd going.
“We needed to move the ball quicker and be more direct.
“We did that and got the goal at the right time, which made them come out a bit more.
“They have had a lot of balls into our box but we defended it well late on and the two centre backs were immense - David Mirfin and Scott Harrison.
“But on the break, how many chances do we want?
“We had umpteen chances to make it three and it should have been.
“In the end our keeper has had to make a save late on to keep us in it, we just needed somebody to put the knife into them and kill them off.
“You can’t keep creating those opportunities and not take them.”
Moore had spoken ahead of the Sky Bet League Two match of how this week could define the rest of the season, with Stevenage the visitors to The Vic on Saturday.
And with the other results going Pools’ way, hope has been restored that the Great Escape could be back on after all.
Moore, who was out of work for eight months before getting the Pools job, added: “This lifts us for Saturday, results have gone for us, but it is what we do as we can only take care of our own results.
“It is great to be back in the dugout though and I love every minute and have done since I have been here.
“I keep saying that to the players - it is a privilege to come out and play.
“I was getting nervous watching them last night but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”