Shutout a reason to cheer for Alexander
A WEEK after being critical of his Fleetwood Town defence, boss Graham Alexander couldn’t have been happier with them this time out.
Seven days after shipping three goals in defeat at Burton, the Cod Army defended firmly to shut out Hartlepool and sneak victory thanks to Jeff Hughes’ goal.
The result means Pools have yet to score in League Two this season and have just a single point on the board.
But Alexander was only concerned with his side, saying:“We worked hard for it, it was a very tough game.We defended more than I would have liked to and to come off with a win and cleansheet is very pleasing.
“Last week we didn’t defend well enough for a period, but we did for the entire game here.
“The goal was against the run of play, but that’s football.We soaked up pressure and know we have a threat from midfield and that’s how it came about – Jeff was there to finish it off.
“But we gave away too many opportunities to Hartlepool and we had the players to stop them.’’
Alexander’s side sneaked the points on 15 minutes. They should already have been behind to a Steve Howard header – the striker only denied a goal when visiting skipper Mark Roberts cleared off the line.
But at the other end Antoni Sarcevic’s low, raking shot was spilled by keeper Scott Flinders and Hughes was on hand to bundle in from close range.
Pools continued to press, with Matty Dolan, making his debut on loan from Middlesbrough, and Bradley Walker firing in from distance.
The visitors, however, were a threat on the break with striker David Ball breaking through and striking against the frame of the goal from an angle, before his goalbound shot was diverted wide by Christian Burgess.
Pools chucked five players up front for the closing stages in a bid to engineer a breakthrough. The nearest they came was when Howard met a deep Jack Baldwin cross and his header was palmed away acrobatically by goalkeeper Scott Davies. Defeat left home boss Colin Cooper bewildered and he admitted: “It’s frustrating again – for whatever reason we haven’t won a game and I feel frustrated for the lads because of it.
“The two teams who have come here and won (Southend and Fleetwood) will be in the top few places and both have won here without having a kick.
“We just cant turn the ingredients and chances into genuine goals. It’s not falling for us, or maybe we aren’t doing enough for it to fall for us.” To comment on this match go to http://boards.footymad.net/