COOPER’S TROOPS UP AND RUNNING
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.’’
RUNAWAY: Charlie Wyke, right celebrates after opening the scoring for Hartlepool