FLORENT QUICKLY FINDS HIS FEET

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

IN SIX min­utes, Florent Cu­ve­lier earned a place in the hearts of the Bur­ton Al­bion faith­ful. Signed last week on loan from Sh­effield United, the Bel­gian was on the Vic­to­ria Park pitch for only six min­utes – but it was enough to add some rare qual­ity to a des­per­ately poor game.

Bur­ton went into the game on the back of suc­ces­sive de­feats, a se­quence suf­fered for the first time un­der Jimmy Floyd Has­sel­baink.

And they showed their met­tle by se­cur­ing victory at Pools, to move back to the top of the ta­ble in the process.

From a Pools set-piece flung into the area, Brew­ers goal­keeper Jon McLaugh­lin punched clear. Striker Stu­art Beavon took pos­ses­sion and turned to­wards goal, catch­ing de­fender Neil Austin wrong-footed as he turned across him with ease.

With Cu­ve­lier over­lap­ping on his left, the ball was played into the Bel­gian who coolly rolled his fin­ish across Scott Flinders.

De­feat leaves Pools eight points from safety - this was their 22nd de­feat of a piti­ful sea­son and the door to the Con­fer­ence is half­way open.

“This was a re­ally im­por­tant win. We needed a re­ac­tion af­ter the two pre­vi­ous games. We showed char­ac­ter as a team,’’ re­flected Has­sel­baink.

“We were com­pact and or­gan­ised. It was never go­ing to be a beau­ti­ful game and we were never go­ing to con­trol it all the way through be­cause Hartle­pool are fight­ing for their lives. “The wind was strong, it was never go­ing to be a clas­sic – it was about do­ing your job for the team and wait­ing for your chance.

“But char­ac­ter is some­thing you al­ways have to have, whether you’re bat­tling for pro­mo­tion or not. “We are in a great po­si­tion and we have a lot of char­ac­ter. You need to show that game in game out and this was no dif­fer­ent.

“The goal was a very good feel­ing and it was from a very good move.’’

The day ended on a dis­ap­point­ing note for Cu­ve­lier, how­ever, as he was with­drawn soon af­ter netting.

“He tweaked his ham­string,” Has­sel­baink ex­plained.“It’s not bad but I had to take him off to make sure he will be ready for next week.”

Chances at both ends were a rare event in a game of at­tri­tion. On 12 min­utes, vis­it­ing mid­fielder Tom Nay­lor ex­changed crisp passes on the edge of the area with Lu­cas Akins and asked ques­tions of home keeper Flinders with a dip­ping vol­ley.

Pools of­fered noth­ing up front, Mar­lon Hare­wood lack­ing any threat on goal and it was no sur­prise he was re­placed.

Boss Ron­nie Moore moaned:“I’m mas­sively dis­ap­pointed, it was a poor game spoiled by the wind with hardly any foot­ball played.

“We didn’t do enough to win it, but didn’t de­serve to lose it.

“Not an­other de­feat – we have to see games out, win­ning or los­ing. Some­times that one point might make all the dif­fer­ence.Yes, we needed three but got noth­ing and a point keeps you tick­ing on.’’

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

STAR MAN SCOTT

ON HAR­RIS

ool Hartlep ON THE BOARD: Florent Cu­ve­lier scores his first goal for Bur­ton

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