Hartlepool United have set up a National League play-off semi final against Stockport County after a stunning first half performance gave them a 3-2 win against Bromley at Victoria Park. 

1,700 Pools fans were witness to one of the best first half performances of their season as they made short work of a Bromley side who they hadn't beaten previously in the campaign. 

Two first half goals from Rhys Oates and another from striker partner Luke Armstrong in the first 23 minutes did the damage. Dave Challinor's men survived a late scare with goals from substitutes James Alabi and Tyron Webster in the second half.

Before the game, the Pools players stopped their warm up before the game to show their appreciation to the fans who joyfully returned the favour. 

The South Londoners are a typically robust side and they demonstrated that in the opening exchanges as Billy Bingham picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Gavan Holohan. 

The first five minutes of the game saw three conseuctive corners which the crowd thought would eventually paid dividends but Bromley sustained the pressure. 

Hartlepool's pressure eventually paid off in the most stunning style with three quickfire goals. 

As Pools patiently built up play, Nicky Featherstone found a chink in the armour with a delicate curling ball over the top of the Bromley defence. Rhys Oates showed power and pace to beat his man and prod the ball passed Mark Cousins into the left hand corner. 

Three minutes later, the Vic would be bouncing again after Oates showed more determined work down the right hand side, cut it back to Luke Armstrong in the box who had bodies in front of him. However, he took his time and his deflected effort flew passed Cousins into the net for his 14th of the campaign.

Oates bet himself at the start of the season that he'd reach 15 goals for the season and he reached that tally with the opening goal. But the 26-year-old was hungry for more.

He carved another opening down the right hand side, found Sterry and then teed up Holohan on the edge of the box. The midfielder's shot was blocked until Oates picked up the pieces and fired into the bottom right hand corner from the edge of the box. 

The fans were sent into ecstasy and even though there was still plenty of time left in the game, they could sense a play-off semi final against Stockport was within their grasp. 

The half time whistle blew for Pools at an inconvenient time as it allowed Bromley the chance to regroup and make changes for the second 45 minutes. 

One of those was James Alabi and after pressure from the right hand side, a cross to the back post was headed into the six yard box by Alex Mitchell. Alabi was on hand to divert goalwards and into the left hand corner. 

Hartlepool grew back into the game and Oates nearly had his hat-trick after his low cross was blocked, it fell kindly to him and his shot rippled the side netting. 

Bromley responded with 25 minutes to go as Billy Bingham's effort from range hit the side netting. They were showing that they weren't going out without a fight. 

However, Pools tried to calm things down for the remainder of the game and patiently ran down the clock with a play-off semi final in sight. 

In stoppage time, it ended up being a nervy finish for Pools as Chris Bush's long throw into the box was converted into the net by Byron Webster.

However, they held on at the Vic to set up a play-off semi final with Stockport County next Sunday. 

After the final whistle, Dave Challinor the players did a lap of honour to celebrate their win with the Pools boss letting out a roar to the fans in the Neale Cooper stand.