Bald­win’s de­par­ture no sweat for Pools

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Thomas Han­nah To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

IN THE two games since sell­ing the most ex­pen­sive de­fender in League Two, Hartle­pool United have never looked back.

Cen­tre-half Jack Bald­win moved to Peter­bor­ough on trans­fer dead­line day for a fee of £500,000.

But Hartle­pool have kept two clean sheets since his exit – and en­joyed a de­served vic­tory at Da­gen­ham, with his re­place­ment to the fore.

Veteran Sam Collins had only played three times this sea­son be­fore Bald­win’s exit. In his two ap­pear­ances since, he’s been solid, pro­vid­ing a plat­form for his team­mates to build on against the Dag­gers.

Pools won it thanks to sec­ond-half goals from Luke Wil­liams and Andy Monkhouse, but the Dag­gers had few com­plaints about the out­come.

“We de­fended well, and the back four can take pride from what they have done,’’ said Pools boss Colin Cooper.

“Big Sam can pat him­self on the back for the way he has re­sponded in the last two games.

“The sec­ond goal fin­ished it off.We put their de­fend­ers on the back foot and it was a well­worked sec­ond goal.’’

“I have to be hon­est and ad­mit things went our way a lit­tle bit. They had a few chances, both teams did, and it fell for us.

“From our point of view we had that bit of luck for the first goal and then a later sec­ond. As soon as the ball dropped I knew he (Wil­liams) was go­ing to hit it – the luck came with the de­flec­tion.”

The Dag­gers started well, but soon blew them­selves out.

Pools striker Luke James dragged two shots wide from the edge of the penalty area be­fore the home side struck a post when de­fender Wil­liams headed at goal, and Law­son D’ath mess­ily prod­ded the re­bound wide.

The visi­tors went ahead when Wil­liams, on loan from Mid­dles­brough, tried his luck from 30 yards af­ter the ball sat up and it spun high in the air off Wilkin­son and looper over keeper Chris Lew­ing­ton.

Pools keeper Scott Flin­ders made a smart stop to deny Zavon Hines a lev­eller and Pools clinched it when James headed down for Monkhouse to fin­ish.

“We didn’t de­serve any­thing,’’ ad­mit­ted Dag­gers’ boss Wayne Bur­nett.

“We didn’t get go­ing or look threat­en­ing. They de­fended well and were or­gan­ised and got the first goal which was vi­tal.

“We had one ruled out for a foul, I didn’t think it was a foul. I’m very dis­ap­pointed be­cause the way we have played over the last two or three weeks we have played very well at times, but there was no tempo, no spark, no ur­gency.”

STAR MAN ANDY MONKH

OUSE Hartlep

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