Pools Do Double Over Daggers
Pools completed their first League Two double of the campaign as goals from Luke Williams and Andy Monkhouse secured a 2-0 triumph at Dagenham & Redbridge.
Colin Cooper’s men were good value for the victory after carrying out the manager’s orders in remaining stubborn at the back and then making the most of the opportunities at the other end.
It was the hosts who started the brighter and went at Pools from the off, Medy Elito fired a shot just wide after busy work from the dangerous Rhys Murphy on the edge of the box.
Elito should probably have opened the scoring when Luke Norris played a wonderful ball in behind the Pools defence for Zavon Hines who got to the byline and cut it back where Elito wastefully blazed over from twelve yards.
After riding out the storm, Pools began to look a threat at the other end and Luke James got time to turn and fire a shot just wide from the edge of the area as The Daggers defence failed to react.
It was a similar story moments later when great closing down from Marlon Harewood won possession back for Pools and Jordan Richards’ driven cross found James who swivelled in to the box and drilled another effort just the wrong side of the post.
Murphy then showed his threat by heading Hines’ right-wing cross just over the bar, and then drawing a smart save from Scott Flinders with a low shot from the edge of the area.
There was a let-off for Colin Cooper’s men when centre-back Luke Wilkinson ran on to Hines’ floated free-kick but his powerful headed cannoned back off the inside of the post and Norris could only prod the rebound wide.
Luke Williams came in to the game more as it developed and he saw a shot deflected towards goal where it was held by keeper Chris Lewington down low to his left.
The on-loan star then danced his way skilfully through the left side of the penalty area to feed Harewood whose vicious shot was well blocked and although it looped back to the feet of the Pools striker he couldn’t dig out another effort and the hosts escaped.
Harewood almost gave Pools an ideal start to the second half when he raced on to a wonderful ball over the top from MOnkhouse, but another timely block from a defender denied the front man once more.
Burgess had to be alert to block an effort by Murphy as the hosts enjoyed a good spell just before the hour mark, while Hines forced Flinders in to a save with a low drive straight at the keeper.
Williams played a lovely one-two with Walker before feeding it to James who shielded the ball and then laid it off perfectly for Monkhose but his shot from the edge of the area was palmed away by Lewington.
The deadlock was broken with little over twenty minutes remaining though when Luke Williams opened his goalscoring account for the Club. A lovely nod down by Walker fell invitingly for the attacker, and he hit a crisp volley which looped off a defender to wrong-foot the keeper and land in the net.
Pools were thankful to young full-back Darren Holden who got back to put in a last-ditch block as Hines looked to break away and restore parity after a wonderful through ball from D’Ath.
However, it was Pools who continued to pose more of a threat going forward as the time ticked on; Franks – on in place of Harewood – fizzed a ball in to the box from the right which was just about hacked to safety and from the resultant corner Walker drove an effort at Lewington.
The win was sealed with ninety second of normal time remaining though; Franks again drove at his man down the right before lifting a deep cross to the back post when James somehow hung in the air to nod it down in to the path of Monkhouse who gleefully converted from close range.
Full Time: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Pools 2
Booked: Holden (35)
Att: 3357 (196 Pools)
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Hoyte, Connors (Sheilds 84), Ogogo, Wilkinson, Doe, Elito, D’Ath, Murphy (Azeez 75), Hines, Norris (Dickson 75).
Subs Not Used: Ilesanmi, Saah, Bingham, Seabright.
Pools: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Burgess, Holden, Walton, Walker, Williams, Monkhouse, Harewood (Franks 71), James.
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Sweeney, Franks, Rodney, Compton, Barmby, Poole.
Pools Youth Team beat Grimsby Town 4-0 in this morning's match at Blackhall Welfare Park.
Dan Turner, Connor Smith, Dylan Armstrong and Callam Wood scored the goals as John Hewitson's side recorded their third successive victory.