Morgan Goal Clinches Crucial Victory
Pools put everything into the game and got their just rewards as Marvin Morgan scored his first goal for the Club and the team held on for another crucial three points.
Northampton Town started the better of the two teams, with John-Joe O’Toole proving a handful early.
The visitors won a corner inside the first five minutes which was cleared bravely by Neil Austin – who required treatment from the Physio as a result.
But Pools quickly began to dominate and enjoyed much more of the possession in the first half, keeping Northampton away from goal.
Jack Compton, back in the team this evening, looked bright and offered a burst of pace down the wing to open things up for Pools.
Compton linked up well with Marlon Harewood on 19 minutes, exchanging a lovely one-two before being challenged on his way into the box.
Compton was first to try his luck on goal for Pools as he drilled a right-footed strike across goal but his effort went just wide of the far post.
David Mirfin was again solid at the back this evening, mopping up anything that Northampton had to offer and formed a decent partnership with Scott Harrison.
And the duo saw more of the ball in the closing fifteen minutes of the game as the visitors started to see a bit more of the ball.
Mirfin put in a great block to deny Marc Richards who had pushed in from the left to shoot on goal; the defender was brave as he threw himself into the path of the shot to clear the danger.
Scott Flinders then made a crucial save, blocking and then collecting a shot through a crowd during a real scramble inside the box.
Northampton Town then continued their resurgence into the early part of the second half, with Lawson D’Ath forcing his way through to shoot on goal. Flinders pulled off another good save to block that shot and punched clear from the following corner.
With just six minutes of the second half having been played though, Pools went upfield to take the lead. Marvin Morgan ran through onto a through ball and found himself with only Matt Duke to beat and the big striker showed great composure to step up and slot him past the visiting keeper for his first Pools goal.
Pools went close again just after as a corner found Scott Harrison in space at the far post and the defender showed a decent touch to fire at goal only to be denied by a possible handball on the line.
Scott Harrison was calm to clear a Brendan Moloney shot from the right and his clearance allowed his side to counter back up towards goal. Marlon Harewood was the man to push his side forward with the ball, running right to the edge of the box before
back-heeling it into the path of Compton. The winger unleashed a powerful curling strike which was pushed out by keeper Duke.
The remainder of the game was open; while Northampton Town looked more than capable of grabbing a goal back, Pools were up for this and with Compton remaining a constant threat and Harewood and Woods both looking in determined mood, there were options for Moore’s side too.
Compton burst forward from deep on 82 minutes with nerves rising inside The Vic but his surge proved fruitless as his final shot scraped wide of the post.
Marlon Harewood had a chance to wrap things up on 84 minutes after more good work from Compton but the striker saw his shot curl wide of goal, while at the other end Flinders pulled off another save to ease the nerves for Pools.
Northampton were throwing everything at goal in the final five minutes to make for a tense finish at The Vic; sub Ivan Toney saw his shot across goal take a last-minute deflection to take it wide as the visitors went every closer to an equaliser.
While the visitors threw everything forward, Pools defended with everything they had as blocks came in from all angles to hold onto the lead.
Four minutes of added time prolonged the agony and Scott Flinders saved the day late on as he pulled off a great stop to deny Ryan Cresswell with a header.
And all of the hard work and last-gasp blocks paid off as Pools held on for a big three points against an in-form Northampton Town side.
Full Time: Pools 1 Northampton Town 0
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Harrison, Mirfin, Austin, Franks (Jones 78), Woods, Tshibola, Compton (Smith 89), Morgan (Featherstone 78), Harewood.
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Richards, Jones, Holden, Featherstone, Walker, Smith.
Northampton Town: Duke, Moloney, Cresswell, Collins, Horwood, D'Ath (Toney 57), Taylor, Byrom, Holmes (Tozer 57), O'Toole (Hackett 75), Richards.
Subs Not Used: Snedker, Carter, Bodin, Newey.