Late Franks Goal Clinches Points
A dramatic late goal from Jonathan Franks secured Pools the win from an absorbing encounter with Morecambe at The Globe Arena.
After dominating here at The Globe Arena and leading for the majority of the game thanks to a Jack Baldwin goal, Pools looked set to have to make do with another point as Morecambe equalised on 87 minutes.
But a last-gasp Franks goal restored the leads and gave a lively Pools side the well-earned win.
Pools made a strong start to this afternoon’s match and were pressing on goal within minutes of kick off. Nialle Rodney, playing out on the left wing in place of the suspended Andy Monkhouse, was lively in the opening minutes and created an outlet for his side.
There was a good early pace to what was an entertaining first half and, while it was Pools who dominated, Morecambe had the first real chance on goal.
Andrew Fleming picked up possession to the left of goal and sent a hopeful ball into the box which sailed high over everyone only to bounce down on the bar and then out of play.
Cooper’s side were playing the best of their football that this bobbly pitch would allow and were well on top for the majority.
Jack Baldwin opened the scoring on 17 minutes when he met an inch-perfect corner from Matty Dolan to send a powerful header past Barry Roche to make it 1-0.
Jonathan Franks tried his luck from distance as Pools looked to make the most of their possession but his strike went wide, while a James Poole effort from outside of the area forced a full-stretch save from Roche.
Pools refused to let Morecambe out of their own half for a spell and Cooper’s side were full full of confidence and composure.
Lovely link-up play between Michael Duckworth and Jonathan Franks down the right carved open the hosts and Franks was only denied a goal with another good save from Roche.
Morecambe had a couple of late chances in the first half; first Jack Redshaw twisted and turned past Burgess to shoot from close range but Flinders blocked it out. The hosts then sent a header wide of target after the Pools’ keeper looked to have been pushed out of the way of an arriving free-kick.
Pools had dominated the first half and were more than deserving of the lead but they were to face a slightly stronger battle from the hosts after the break.
Neil Austin and Michael Duckworth both put in crucial blocks to prevent any response from Morecambe in the early stages of the second half.
At the other end, Franks burst into the area to fire in on goal only to send it just wide of the near post and Pools were soon back on top of things here at The Globe Arena.
A cross from Franks again from the right was just waiting on a touch to beat the keeper but his effort went just wide of the far post as Pools continued to play some really good, flowing football.
Scott Flinders pulled off another great save to deny Kevin Ellison the equaliser as the hosts took their chance to break forward.
James Poole was a big threat for Cooper’s side, causing the hosts a problem every time he picked up the ball, offering a quick turn of pace and linking well with James and Franks.
But for all of Pools’ possession in and around the area, that second goal would not come and that set things up for a tense finale.
And then the equaliser arrived; a long punt upfield allowed sub Jack Sampson to take it down just on the edge of the box before he turned and sent a low drive past Flinders.
It was a blow for Pools who had dominated the game and did not deserve to be dragged back level but they had been punished for failing to take their chances.
There was almost an instant reply from Pools as Franks nipped through to shoot on goal but his left-foot strike crashed against the underside of the bar and bounced out while Morecambe had their own chance shortly after only to be denied by another great double save from Flinders.
But Franks wasn't finished there and a last-minute long throw from sub Darren Holden was flicked on to the Pools' forward and he made no mistake as he sent a first-time strike past Roche to give his side the lead once again.
The win was a deserved one for Pools who end a run of four consecutive League draws to take all three points
Full Time: Morecambe 1 Pools 2
Att: 2081 (424 Pools)
Booked: Austin (40)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Franks, Walker, Dolan, Rodney (Holden 76), Poole, James
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Collins, Hawkins, Rowbotham, Walton, Sweeney
Morecambe: Roche, Threlfall (Diagne 78), Kenyon (Mwasile 73), Hughes, Redshaw, Ellison, McCready, Drummond, Fleming, Parrish, Amond (Sampson 64)
Subs Not Used: Arestidou, McGee, McGowan, Doyle