Pools got back to winning ways with a convincing 5-2 win on a highly entertaining afternoon at The Globe Arena.
Nathan Thomas was the architect for Pools, scoring twice and setting up one for Michael Woods before Luke James added one in from the penalty spot with his first goal since joining the Club on loan in January and Rhys Oates rounded it up late in the game.
Michael Woods marked his return to the side in style, opening the scoring after just three minutes of play. Nathan Thomas, who was on fire in the early stages here at The Globe Arena, burst forward into the box, leaving a succession of defenders in his wake. The winger lifted the ball over the keeper but saw it take a touch back away from goal, which is where Woods was waiting to send a composed strike back past Barry Roche to give his side the lead. Pools continued their early dominance and were playing with real swagger, making it 2-0 just three minutes later. Another driving run by Thomas saw him skip past two defenders on his way into the box, he then sent a shot at goal which took just enough of a deflection off a Morecambe man to help it into the back of the net. Thomas, who was a real problem for the hosts, went close to making it 3-0 shortly after when he nicked possession away from Shaun Beeley to go deep into the box and flash a shot across goal which went just wide of the far post. Morecambe gradually started to see more of the ball after a blistering start from Pools and, on 25 minutes, they pulled a goal back through Alex Kenyon. Big striker Kevin Ellison held the ball up on the edge of the area before laying it on into the path of Kenyon who sent it past Carson to make it 2-1. Pools continued to play some really good football in what was an entertaining first forty-five minutes. There were plenty of crosses coming into the box for Hignett’s side from both wings but just the final touch was missing to restore the two-goal lead. At the other end, Trevor Carson pulled off a good save to deny Shaun Miller who met a Shaun Beeley cross from the right to send a shot at the Pools goal. Pools started the second half as brightly as they had the first; a Carl Magnay cross from the right caught the hosts out but there was no one there in blue and white to help it over the line. With just five minutes of the second half played though, Pools were 3-1 up and it was the on-form Nathan Thomas again. With the lively Luke James left in a heap after making a determined run forward, Thomas picked up the pieces to cut inside, skip past a couple of challenges and finish into the bottom corner. In a half that was just as entertaining as the first, Morecambe weren’t finished in their search for a goal and Adam Jackson had to react to a Beeley cross in, getting just enough on the ball to help it onto the crossbar on its way over. Pools were 4-1 up on 76 minutes and it was Luke James who got off the first goal since his return to the Club on go loan. James was fouled when running through on goal but with Brad Walker powering past him after the loose ball, the official allowed play to continue. But with Walker taking the ball round keeper Barry Roche to prepare his shot, the Morecambe keeper brought the Pools midfielder down with an outstretched arm. Carl Boyeson showed Roche a red card, and with no sub keeper on the bench, Alex Kenyon pulled the gloves on and Walker stepped back to allow Luke James to take the resulting penalty kick. James made no mistake as he slammed it home to make it 4-1 with a well-deserved goal. Although Morecambe were down to ten men, the remainder of the game lost none of its spark with the impressive army of 727 Poolies who made the trip keeping things going with their non-stop singing. A slip in the middle from Nicky Featherstone allowed Tom Barkhuizen to break through on goal and he slipped a shot under Carson to make it 4-2 on 87 minutes. But Pools weren’t finished either and when Luke James broke down the right, Rhys Oates matched his run down the middle and when James’ cross arrived into the box, Oates sent a cheeky effort past Kenyon to make it 5-2. Full Time: Morecambe 2 Pools 5Booked: Carroll (20), James (77) Att: 2005 (727 Pools) Morecambe: Roche, Beeley, Kenyon, Edwards, Barkhuizen, Molyneux (Stockton 56), Ellison, Goodall, Miller (Oliver ), Parrish, Conlan (McGowan 46). Subs Not Used: Devitt, Mullin, Bailey, Doyle. Pools: Carson, Magnay, R Jones, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Hawkins, Woods (Walker 70), Gray (Laurent 63), James, Thomas (Oates 70). Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Duckworth, Richards, Bingham.