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National League play-off Final - Hartlepool United v Torquay United: Match Preview
It’s finally upon us. On Sunday afternoon, the 2021 National League play-off Final brings the curtain down on a non-league campaign like no other as we discover who will join Sutton United in the fourth tier.
A season which began on October due to a delayed start from the curtailed 2019/20 campaign reaches it’s crescendo at Ashton Gate as Hartlepool United and Torquay United battle it out for a place in League Two.
Both teams have recent memories of the Football League with Hartlepool in just their fourth season since relegation and Torquay last a League Two team in 2013/14. And now both are back within touching distance of a return to the big time.
Torquay were forced to dust themselves down after the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion after four consecutive draws in the final four games of the regular season allowed Sutton to seal top spot by four points.
And Gary Johnson’s men were handed an almighty scare on their return to action in the play-off semi-finals when they were taken to extra time at Plainmoor by Notts County before two goals in the additional period sealed a 4-2 victory.
Opponents Hartlepool meanwhile did it the even harder way. The Monkey Hangers finished fourth in the table, four points off Torquay, entering a eliminator clash against seventh-placed Bromley.
Three early goals, two from Rhys Oates, secured a win despite a late salvo from Bromley to secure a semi-final clash with a Stockport side who finished third in the table.
But it was Oates again who came up trumps for Dave Challinor’s side as the forward netted late on at Edgeley Park to seal Pool’s place at Ashton Gate this Sunday.
As Hartlepool’s undoubted dangerman, Oates finished as the division’s fourth-top scorer with 18 strikes this season and the 26-year-old heads to Bristol on fire with nine in his previous nine.
Opponents Torquay meanwhile prefer to share the goals around with seven players on five or more strikers in 2020/21. The Gulls are playing in just their second season back in the fifth tier having fallen into the National League South briefly.
The two finalists won a game apiece against one another in the regular season. Torquay ran out 5-0 winners at Victoria Park in a Hartlepool horrorshow on Halloween but The Monkey Hangers exacted revenge at Plainmoor with a 1-0 victory in March.
It tees up a fascinating encounter on Sunday – played at Bristol City’s ground due to Wembley’s involvement at Euro 2020 – and you can read on to find out exactly how to watch the action on BT Sport.
When is National League play-off Final - Hartlepool v Torquay United?
Our coverage gets underway at 1pm (2pm kick off) on Sunday 20 June, live on BT Sport 1HD and BT Sport Ultimate on TV.
How to watch National League play-off Final - Hartlepool v Torquay United on your mobile or tablet
Watch on the go with the BT Sport app with a link to the live stream available on the homepage when our coverage gets underway.
How to live stream National League play-off Final - Hartlepool v Torquay United on your laptop
Hartlepool v Torquay United is available to live stream here!
You can follow the link above or access the live stream via bt.com/sport when our broadcast begins.
With access to in-game stats, real-time table changes and more, our matchday page will enhance your viewing ever further.
How to watch National League play-off Final - Hartlepool v Torquay United on TV
*BT Sport customers can download the BT Sport app on PS4, Xbox, NOWTV, Apple TV and Samsung Smart TVs (2015 models onwards). To watch the action, follow the link at the top of the homepage.
What if I can't watch live?
No problem. A highlights package of the clash will be made available to all shortly after the game on both the BT Sport app and bt.com/sport. We'll also publish in-game clips throughout the 90 minutes.
There will also be several opportunities to watch the match in full on TV and online after the event. For more information on the latest listings, check out our TV Guide.
What other live football does BT Sport show?
As well as action from the National League, BT Sport will show a minimum of 52 live Premier League matches this season as we bring you exclusive action from the English top flight.
For full details of BT Sport's upcoming live football schedule, check out our What's on BT Sport page.