Hartlepool United have reached the National League play-off final as Rhys Oates scores the vital goal in a 1-0 win against Stockport County. 

Pools have set up a date with Ashton Gate next Sunday where they'll face Torquay United, who beat Notts County 4-2 yesterday in extra time.

Stockport had a glorious chance in the first seven minutes as former Pools full-back Macauley Southam-Hales broke free, teed it up on a plate for Paddy Madden from six yards who managed to skew the ball wide with the goal at his mercy. 

Rhys Oates showed why he's so important to this Pools side as he performed his trademark lung busting run down the right and played the ball across but Gavan Holohan and Luke Armstrong were both denied by blocks. 

Oates had a few more efforts from distance while Stockport had some joy down the right hand side through Southam-Hales but it was a scrappy first half. 

Pools had a big shout for a penalty in the opening stages of the second period when Mark Shelton was sent tumbling in the box but the referee waved away Pools strong claims. It was a challenge that you'd class in the 'you've seen them given' category. 

The referee had another decision to make when Holohan's high boot left Elliot Newby stricken on the floor but Irishman breathed a sigh of relief when he brandished a yellow card.

As Stockport piled man on in the forward position, Pools fought back and the breakthrough came from their main man. 

Oates found some room and took the ball to the edge of the box where he filed in a low shot into the bottom right hand corner. 

He was mobbed in the far corner by his team mates and Pools sensed that a play-off final was in reach. 

Stockport huffed and puffed to find an equaliser but Brad James was to Pools rescue as he somehow denied a point blank header from Richie Bennett, who almost came back to haunt his old side. 

Pools hung on and ran the clock down to secure a place in the National League play-off final where they'll battle with Torquay United for a place in the Football League.