Hartlepool secured a spot in the FA Cup third round after seeing off League Two high-flyers Exeter 1-0 in extra time.
After a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park, the National League side needed only a single goal at Victoria Park. It came in the third minute of extra time from midfielder Josh Hawkes, who booked his team a third round clash with League One Oxford.
Some 36 places sit between Hartlepool and Exeter in the football ladder, but Pools thoroughly deserved victory as they appear rejuvenated under new boss Dave Challinor.
The winner was a fine effort. Pools’ attacker Gime Toure slipped a weighted ball in behind the defence for midfielder Hawkes. In one movement, he turned and clipped a lovely finish past stranded keeper Jonny Maxted.
The Grecians responded as a corner hit the post, with the follow up shot saved by the diving Ben Killip.
But the visitors were reduced to ten men with six minutes of extra time to go, Jack Sparkes picking up a second yellow card for tugging back Toure.
Chances were limited in regular time, but the best opening for the visitors in the first half came when a corner was missed by home keeper Killip and, as it bounced to the far post, Lee Martin’s shot was on its way in before it hit the back of Aaron Martin.
Killip then saved again superbly from a long-range shot by Martin as Pools took the match into extra time.