Hartlepool United boss Craig Hignett says ‘unbelievable’ Lewis Hawkins changed game at Barnet

Lewis Hawkins

Lewis Hawkins

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Craig Hignett saluted Lewis Hawkins for “an unbelievable goal” as Hartlepool United gave their survival hopes a major lift.

Hawkins turned Saturday’s game at Barnet around with a wonder-strike at the Hive where Pools triumphed 3-1 to move five points clear of the bottom two.

I was just about to shout ‘no, don’t hit it’ when he did!

CRAIG HIGNETT

When Pools conceded the lead to the Bees in the 11th minute there could have been feeling of deja vu.

Hignett’s team gifted Bristol Rovers a goal at the same mark last Tuesday on the way to a 4-1 defeat.

But there were no repeat shows in London, where Hawkins equalised in the 34th-minute from 30 yards with his first goal for the club.

The midfielder rattled in his second of the game within six minutes - this time from the edge of the D - to put Pools 2-1 up and en route to a 3-1 victory.

“I’m thrilled for Lewis it was an unbelievable goal,” said Hignett.

“I was just about to shout ‘no, don’t hit it’ when he did!

“I think it has come up nicely for him and it was a brilliant shot.

“Lewis’s first goal got us right back into it.

“We played good from then and once the second went in, only one team was going to win it.

“The second was a really top finish as well to be fair.

“It was fantastic work from Billy Paynter, good vision and a weighted pass, but Lewis sidefooted in past the keeper and that gave us a good feeling at half-time.

“It would have been easy for our heads to drop after going one-down in the 11th minute.

“We could have folded – especially after what happened at Bristol but the lads showed unbelievable character.

“But we have really good characters here, I know we have.

“I always felt we would score goals and that’s what we did.”

Hignett joked that he was “taking the credit” for the Hawkins show, having restored him to the starting XI after he impressed as a sub at Bristol Rovers.

The 22-year-old came in for Brad Walker who moved down to the bench.

There were two other significant changes in defence where fit-again Matthew Bates and new signing Rob Jones came in for Scott Harrison and Adam Jackson, the latter ruled out with thigh trouble.

“Everyone has been desperate to play,” said the boss.

“All the lads have trained well and I’ve had no worries about putting anyone in.

“I felt we needed freshening up a bit.”