Cooper’s all set for night on the sofa

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Thomas Han­nah

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

IAN BURGE

SS Hartlep

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