COOPER’S TROOPS UP AND RUN­NING

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

COLIN Cooper this morn­ing takes part in the Great North Run – and the half-marathon from New­cas­tle to South Shields will be a more en­joy­able af­fair after Hartle­pool won for only the sec­ond time this sea­son.

Charlie Wyke and Bradley Walker net­ted in the first ten min­utes and last ten min­utes re­spec­tively to end Shrews­bury’s un­beaten record.

It was a pow­er­ful dis­play from start to fin­ish from Hartle­pool but Cooper soon turned his thoughts to run­ning.

“I’ve been sat all week qui­etly pre­par­ing and con­tem­plat­ing 13.1 miles so I can’t even cel­e­brate this one with a glass of wine be­cause I’m on the wagon,” he said.

“It’s a great event, I re­ally en­joy it and I will be a proud man wear­ing the Fin­lay Cooper Fund vest.’’

Pools were quick out of the blocks against the Shrews, and could have been ahead by the time Wyke put them ahead on five min­utes.

The loan sign­ing from Mid­dles­brough poked wide but when he was picked out by Jack Comp­ton he had the time to pick his spot and roll into the bot­tom cor­ner.

It was half an hour be­fore the Shrews threat­ened – Scott Ver­non head­ing over from a tasty Ryan Woods cross.

The vis­i­tors switched to a 4-4-2 line-up from 3-5-2 to try and stop Pools, but the chances kept com­ing.

Both Jonathan Franks and Wyke, be­fore half-time had chances in the area but were crowded out by some fran­tic de­fend­ing. Pools should have had a penalty on 55 min­utes when Ryan Brobbel was shoved over in the area by Con­nor Gold­son, but ref­eree Jeremy Simp­son re­fused to give it.

The of­fi­cial was even more be­wil­der­ing in the clos­ing min­utes when he again re­fused Brobbel an even clearer spot-kick.

Comp­ton was a men­ace on the left wing, reg­u­larly send­ing over a string of tasty de­liv­er­ies into the area.

Two long-range shots, from Andy Man­gan and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, hardly trou­bled Pools’ keeper Scott Flin­ders.

And the game was clinched on 80 min­utes. Pools won the ball in mid­field and sent Comp­ton away. Walker’s lung-bust­ing run from deep was re­warded when he tapped in from close range.

“Shrews­bury are solid and or­gan­ised and I think from the chance we had in the first minute we felt good,’’ ad­mit­ted Cooper.

“Lots of things we wanted were en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm and we saw lots of that. The dif­fer­ence is we got our noses in front.

“But I saw some ex­cit­ing stuff, op­por­tu­ni­ties and lots of crosses while we de­fended our box well.”

Beaten Shrews­bury boss Micky Mel­lon ad­mit­ted:“We have still got plenty of work to do but we will take the lessons from the game.

“When you con­cede such an early goal, it puts you on the back foot and we didn’t ever fully re­cover from that.

“We huffed and puffed but we had to move the ball a lit­tle bit quicker and smarter. We didn’t re­ally do that.’’

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

RUN­AWAY: Charlie Wyke, right cel­e­brates after open­ing the scor­ing for Hartle­pool

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