Baldwin’s departure no sweat for Pools
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