Vic Win For Cooper's Side
Pools got back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Northampton Town at The Vic.
Pools were almost caught out early on as Northampton started strongly, hitting the woodwork after only a minute of play.
A Jacob Blyth header beat Flinders only to hit the far post and bounce back into play – an early let-off for Pools who looked shaky in the opening minutes.
After a poor opening from Cooper’s side though, they soon began stroking the ball around the pitch and the game really opened up.
James Poole was proving a real problem for the visitors with his tricky movement and fast feet and was harshly upended on more than one occasion as he looked to make space for his side.
And, while Pools had to remain alert to Northampton’s real threat on the break, it was the hosts who were pressuring more on goal.
On 23 minutes Luke James opened the scoring after picking up a wonderful ball from the influential Matty Dolan. James showed a great first touch to take the ball down before slotting home past Matt Duke to make it 1-0.
Freekicks at either end provided the best chances for both sides but with Scott Flinders collecting with relative ease for Pools, Matt Duke had to rely on assistance from the official to deny Andy Monkhouse.
Pools had a great chance to double their lead just before the break when Dolan floated another free kick into the box, which was flicked on by Baldwin. Once again Luke James was waiting to pounce but this time his effort went over the keeper only to hit the bar and bounce back out.
It wasn’t long into the second half before the score was 2-0 though; James Poole went on a great run from the half-way line, skipping past three defenders to power into the box. But with the goal in his sights and just eight-yards out, he was tripped.
The referee awarded the penalty immediately and Simon Walton showed typical composure to step up and send the keeper the wrong way.
A Jack Compton freekick pulled a good save out of Duke who had to be alert to tip the ball over the bar as Pools continued to push.
The tempo dropped a little as the half progressed but while the visitors did see more of the ball, Pools were in control and never really looked in too much danger.
Scott Flinders, while not having to do too much this afternoon, coped with everything he had to with ease, while Neil Austin again marshalled a strong backline, keeping Northampton at bay.
As the full-time whistle approached, Pools were forced to work harder at the back – with crucial clearances from Duckworth and Baldwin clearing the danger.
At the other end, there was another close call from man of the match Compton as he sent a strike just over the bar, while Tony Sweeney forced his way through into the box to try his luck.
It was another professional performance by Cooper's side this afternoon to take all three points over a hard-working Northampton Town, who pushed to the final minute.
The result is the perfect start to a busy week of three matches for Pools - with a midweek trip to Bury next up for Colin Cooper's men.
Full Time:Pools 2 Northampton Town 0
Att: 3617 (206 Northampton Town)
Booked: Monkhouse (26), Dolan (57)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Compton, Walton, Dolan (Walker 74), Monkhouse, Poole (Sweeney 58), James (Rodney 87)
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Collins, Richards, Franks
Northampton Town: Duke, Widdowson, Tozer, Reid, Emerton, Blyth, Doumbe, Dallas (Platt 71), Ferdinand, Norris (Morris 60), Ravenhill
Subs Not Used: Amankwaah, Collins, Deegan, McNamara, Heath