Hawkins’ first goals well worth the wait
LEWIS HAWKINS scored his first professional goals as Hartlepool won at Barnet – and the homegrown midfielder will have to go some way to beat them.
Trailing to a fine strike from the Bees’ Fumnaya Shomotun, Hawkins strode forward in possession and unleashed a stunning, dipping shot which arced high over goalkeeper Jamie Stephens into the net from 30 yards.
And six minutes later he curled home a classy second. As Billy Paynter worked an opening in the area, the striker laid the ball off for Hawkins to beautifully curl in from 20 yards.
Amid a tepid start from the visitors, Pools were second best – until Hawkins’ intervention.
“Lewis’ first goal was brilliant and got us right back into it,” reflected Pools boss Craig Hignett.“We played well from then and once the second went in, only one team was going to win it.
“When Lewis hit it for the first goal I was saying ‘no’ but it bobbled up and the keeper had no chance.’’
Not to be outdone by Hawkins, wide-man Nathan Thomas also nabbed a fine goal to complete the result.
He took a raking ball from Jake Carroll in his stride, took a touch to open up the space and rifled in a curling shot from 25 yards.
Pools rolled over to a slack 4-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers last week and this result was vital at the foot of League Two with other relegation rivals winning.
At the back, Hignett handed a debut to Rob Jones, the former Doncaster Rovers centre-half, and he was immense in repelling any Bees threat.
The home side went direct in the second-half, but Jones kept them at arms’ length, heading away countless long balls.
Visiting goalkeeper Trevor Carson only had one save to make, deep into stoppage time to deny Matthew Stevens, such was their dominance.
Hignett added: “I don’t care what others do, we want to look up and I see things in performances that suggests we are a team that should be up the table.
“There’s no reason why this win can’t be a catapult for us. Barnet have a good home record and we came here and controlled it. It’s looking brighter.”
Meanwhile, Barnet boss Martin Allen grumbled: “I think after the couple of weeks we’ve had, we’ve had some really good performances against some of the top teams. Here, after half an hour, I thought we lacked energy, we lacked legs, athleticism, mobility and I thought generally it was a little bit flat.
“As the game went on, they looked stronger and they looked much better physically and mentally and overpowered us.”
STAR MAN LEWIS HAWKI