Cooper’s all set for night on the sofa
LAST night’s viewing in the Colin Cooper household was going to make pleasant watching after the Hartlepool United boss left Victoria Park with a copy of his side’s win over Newport.
The display might have been no blockbuster to set the pulses racing, but it was good enough to make it three wins from five games.
For County, it’s six without a win and their play-off hopes, while remaining, are slipping away.
“It’s nice to come off with that result and the DVD makes happy viewing,’’ said Cooper.
“Our first goal is a nice bit of play – a wonderful cross, good ball back in and a crisp turn and quick finish from Luke (James).
“The second goal was a bit of luck – a ricochet that goes our way.
“We did have to defend, but looked on the counter attack like we could score every time. It could have been two, three, four, five. The last goal was lovely to watch.
“Luke (Williams) is confident to nutmeg an opponent, take the ball around him, get it back and finish well. It was good link up.’’
Pools were good value for victory and have now kept three successive clean sheets.
Top scorer Luke James gave them the lead on 41 minutes, turning sharply after a neat ball in from Simon Walton to fire in his 11th of the season.
Minutes after the goal, County were denied a leveller. Ryan Burge looked set to score, but a fine saving tackle from Christian Burgess denied the midfielder.
And Pools made it two with a comical own goal on 55 minutes.
Walton’s corner was headed by defender Harry Worley – who was bundled over by teammate Lee Minshull – and the ball hit Andy Sandell on the head to turn into the net.
Pools finished it off when Luke Williams, on loan from Middlesbrough, carved open the visiting defence to smash in his second in as many games.
Justin Edinburgh, County boss, was deflated after the defeat. They slipped behind Pools in the play-off chase as a result and, while they desperately hope Tuesday’s home game with Oxford goes ahead, they need a lift in fortunes.
“It was harsh on us,’’ reflected Edinburgh. “I think we deserved better than 3-0,but the goals we conceded were disappointing. I think the first goal is so vital and it turned the game against us. The second early in the second half was disappointing from our point of view – we need more communication.
“The boys gave plenty of effort, I can never knock that.”
STAR MAN CHRIST