Jacks Are Aces For Pools
Ten-man Pools come from behind to take three points from Morecambe as subs Compton and Barmby fire Cooper's side to victory.
The game kicked off in bright sunshine and to a great backing from the swelled crowd inside The Vic.
And Pools responded to the support, looking lively and positive in the opening minutes and setting a bright tempo to the game.
Morecambe were given little opportunity to see the ball in the opening fifteen minutes as Pools passed it around in a promising start.
A battling push from James Poole, which saw him fight past three challenges to play the ball out to Andy Monkhouse finished when the busy Jonathan Franks sent his shot high over the bar.
There was another chance for Pools when Monkhouse fed the ball through into the path of Marlon Harewood who did well to beat the offside trap but saw his shot blocked by Barry Roche at the near post.
Sam Collins put in a great block at the other end as Jack Sampson broke free into the final third on 20 minutes in an early warning for Pools.
Just minutes later and the visitors took the lead, slightly against the run of play; a cross in from the right found Kevin Ellison in too much space and he made no mistake with a looping header into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Morecambe.
The goal knocked the confidence of Pools slightly and Colin Cooper’s side started to show some hints of nervousness.
Another cross in from the right almost caught out the Pools defence but fortunately this time, Alex Kenyon sent his header at the far post wide of target.
As the half neared its end, Pools started to see more of the ball in the right positions once more and there was some decent build-up play down both flanks.
Morecambe remained a threat on the break and, despite Pools seeing more of the ball, it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous in the final third.
And Jamie Devitt saw a great chance lost after good work from Sampson; Devitt went through into the box to shoot on goal only for his effort to ricochet off Darren Holden and go wide.
There was a late chance in the first half for Pools as good work down the right from Michael Duckworth played in Franks who sent a cross into the box where Monkhouse saw his header find the arms of Roche.
Pools went in a goal behind at half time but came out in the second half brightly once more, showing renewed positivity in their search for a goal.
But with momentum growing for Cooper’s side, they were dealt another blow as Simon Walton was sent off for a reckless challenge on Morecambe’s Jordan Mustoe.
Pools faced thirty minutes now to get something from this massive game and they had to do so with a man down.
Cooper’s men maintained a positive attitude despite losing Walton and it was Pools who saw much more of the ball in the period following the sending off.
And Pools went on to make that possession count as sub Jack Compton smashed the ball home from the edge of the area to make it 1-1 on 68 minutes.
The goal was one to remember, a thunderous strike that left Roche with no chance and sent the home fans inside The Vic into raptures.
As Pools threw everything forward, Morecambe broke forward through sub Jack Redshaw who burst dangerously into the box but Michael Duckworth recovered brilliantly to push the ball towards Flinders who cleared.
The home fans were now playing the role of 11th man for their team, encouraging and supporting every move by Colin Cooper’s men and the players responded accordingly, piling the pressure onto Roche’s goal.
Jack Compton gave Pools a real spark when he joined the action, offering a positive threat down the left wing and opening Morecambe up on several occasions.
Colin Cooper then made his second substitution of the game, introducing Jack Barmby into the action and the on-loan midfielder clearly fancied making the same impact as namesake Compton.
Good work by the industrious Harewood created an opening for Pools and when Barmby picked up the ball with only Roche to beat, he showed great composure to simply pick his spot and fire home to make it 2-1 to Pools.
Cooper’s men now faced a real battle to hold on to this lead as Morecambe upped their pressure and there was some big clearances from Duckworth and Collins.
At the other end, Brad Walker saw an impressive effort beat Roche only to crash against the crossbar before the visiting keeper pulled off a great save to deny Franks with the rebound.
A Jonathan Franks solo run from the half-way line was only ended when his shot on goal was held by Roche in what was a tense closing to the game.
And that nervy finish was extended by five added minutes, during which time Morecambe saw a couple of chances go high over the bar.
But a determined and dogged Pools side took all three points on a great afternoon here at The Vic.
Full Time: Pools 2 Morecambe 1
Booked: Monkhouse (43), Walker (64)
Sent Off: Walton (57)
Att: 4864 (241 Morecambe)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Harrison, Holden, Walton, Walker, Monkhouse (Barmby 78), Poole (Compton 61), Franks, Harewood
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Richards, Jones, Hawkins, Oliver
Morecambe: Roche, Parrish, Hughes, Edwards, Mustoe, Beeley (Diagne 50 (Amond 84)), Wright, Kenyon, Ellison, Sampson (Redshaw 69), Devitt
Subs Not Used: Arestidou, Threlfall, Redshaw, Williams, Marshall