Pools off the bottom as Bury’s Shakes go on
HARTLEPOOL ....2 BURY ..................0
HARTLEPOOL live to fight another day in League One after seeing off fellow strugglers Bury – but all boss John Hughes cares about is restoring pride for the club’s battered fans.
Winger Andy Monkhouse scored twice as Hartlepool finally ended their eight-game winless and scoreless streak against the ten-man Shakers.
They had not scored since Monkhouse finished off Crewe in a 3-0 win on Febuary 28 with his header on 42 minutes ending a run of 762 minutes without a goal.
Monkhouse then got another later on – a second header – to lift Hartlepool off the foot of the table, jumping over Bury, who were well beaten.
Pools are five points off safety, the Shakers seven, however Hughes was more pleased to have given the supporters something to cheer about.
“The win keeps us alive, and took us off the bottom, so all credit to the boys,’’ said Hughes.
“We aim to finish the season on a high and get the pride back. Hopefully it keeps the supporters happy. It’s very pleasing, but it was not a great match. Two competitive teams, but it was a must-win game for us and we got off the foot of the table.
“What will happen, will happen and we owe it to our supporters to put pride in the club.We tried to play football, the conditions weren’t great but we played it properly and I’m delighted to pick up the points – it gives us a little bit of hope.’’
Pools hit the post on five minutes, when Simon Walton’s shot was deflected against the frame by defender Efe Sodje.
They had to wait until Monkhouse’s 42nd-minute header to end their drought and then went crazy as Jon Franks curled another against the post before pushing wide of an open goal.
On the stroke of half-time, the Shakers had Craig Fagan sent off after he clattered into Darren Holden from behind.
The visitors did press men forward in the second half, but the closest they went to scoring was when Andy Bishop turned and shot over.
Monkhouse made it safe on 72 minutes, again meeting a Franks cross, and his header crept past Cameron Belford.
Shakers boss Kevin Blackwell, who could only name four substitutes for the game, admitted:“It’s been such a long season, the whole situation is grim. They looked beaten at the end, it’s the same 11-12 week in, week out. Goals give you a lift, a spring in your stride, we ended up conceding too easily. “It opens up and we expose our two centre-halves too much. It’s the old adage that goals win games.”