Hawkins’ first goals well worth the wait

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Nick Lough­lin

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

NS Hartlep

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