Deserved Victory For Pools At Mansfield
Colin Cooper's men picked up their first away victory of the season in style at Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Andy Monkhouse set the ball rolling for Pools on seven minutes and from then on, the result rarely looked in doubt as Colin Cooper’s men put in a determined display to take all three points.
Jack Compton hit each side of the break to add to Monkhouse’s opener and James Poole grabbed a late goal to seal a well-deserved 4-1 victory for Pools.
It was Mansfield Town who were quickest out of the blocks, with Ryan Tafazolli hitting the woodwork with a close-range header after just five minutes.
That early let-off served only to push Pools on and, with less than ten minutes played, Cooper’s men were 1-0 up.
And the goal came in some style as Andy Monkhouse picked up possession around 30 yards out on goal and unleashed a fierce strike that left keeper Alan Marriott with no chance as it hit the back of the net.
Pools showed real positivity throughout this first half; dealing well with the physical approach from the hosts with some solid defending while showing creativity on the break.
And there was controversy on 19 minutes when Luke James went past his man to break into the box and, with just the keeper to beat the young striker looked to be tripped. The official decided that James had taken a dive instead of shooting on goal and showed the Pools’ man a yellow card.
Pools were looking confident and in control by now, working the hosts hard and frustrating the home crowd.
Andy Monkhouse had a chance to double his lead when the lively Jack Compton stole possession on the by-line to cross back into the box for Monkhouse but he sent his strike wide of goal under pressure from the defender.
Jack Compton sent an effort high over the bar from close range in what proved to be a warning for Mansfield Town as the next time he picked up possession, he made no such mistake.
The left winger let rip with a great strike from distance which sailed through the area and into the back of the net to double Pools’ tally for the day and his own for the season so far.
Pools finished the half deservedly on top and well worthy of the two-goal lead the Pools fans in attendance will have been hoping for more of the same after the break.
Mansfield started the second half as they had the first, with a shot on goal. This time though, Sam Clucas had the strike on goal – the hosts’ best of the game – but despite sending Scott Flinders to full-stretch, the effort went wide of target.
And again, Pools responded to the Mansfield effort with a goal; James Poole was fouled just outside of the box, Jack Compton stepped up to take it and lifted a lovely effort over the wall and past Marriott to make it 3-0.
Mansfield Town made a couple of changes at half time; adding more weight to their attack and, while they did enjoy more possession in the final third for a spell, Pools looked composed at the back, with the experienced Sam Collins providing a calming influence.
The referee did award a penalty this afternoon and it went Mansfield Town’s way; the ball struck Sam Collins in the air and, despite the big defender claiming it hit his head, the referee awarded a spot kick for hand ball. Sam Clucas took the penalty and made no mistake and he smashed it home to make it 3-1.
Pools though were not content with that and set about restoring the three-goal advantage. Great work by double goal-scorer Jack Compton set up James Poole on the edge of the area and the former Manchester City man sent a powerful strike past Marriott to make it 4-1 on 78 minutes.
Cooper’s men were fully deserving of the points, and their advantage this afternoon as they came out winners over a side who had been unbeaten in eight going into today’s game.
Full Time: Mansfield Town 1 Pools 4
Att: 3457 (273 Pools)
Booked: Mansfield: Howell (1), Jennings (25): Pools: James (19), Burgess (52), Baldwin (67)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Burgess, Austin, Compton (Franks 79), Baldwin, Walton, Monkhouse (Richards 79), Poole, James
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Sweeney, Holden, Rodney, Walker
Mansfield Town: Marriott, Sutton, Dempster, Clucas, Tafazolli (Meikle 24), Howell, Jennings, Beevers, Hutchinson (Rhead 46), McGuire, Andrew (Palmer 46)
Murtagh, Stevenson, Speight, DanielSubs Not Used: