First Hartlepool United goal in six hours was most important of my career says Luke James

Luke James celebrates with his team mates after scoring the opening goal against Bradford City. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James celebrates with his team mates after scoring the opening goal against Bradford City. Picture by FRANK REID

LUKE James admits that his opening goal in the 5-0 mauling of Bradford City was the most important of his fledgling career.

The 18-year-old’s 24th-minute effort – his first-ever headed goal and seventh in total – broke a run of six hours without score for Colin Cooper’s men.

James’ nod laid the foundations for Pools’ biggest victory in nearly six years, but they remain without a goal in League Two.

The teenager, though, believes his goal eased the tension around Victoria Park and could prove to be the catalyst for a profitable run in front of the posts.

“We have always said that if we get one then we will get a few – we managed to get five!” said James in the wake of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first-round triumph.

“We needed my goal.

“It wasn’t the best, it was a bit scrappy but sometimes they’re the most important ones.

“And I’d say that is the most important goal I’ve scored so far.

“It was the confidence that we needed and my goal was such a relief, especially after the run we’ve been on without a goal.

“Recently we’ve been going in 1-0 down and it’s been hard to turn games around.

“You could see the difference by us scoring first.”

James’ opener had in fact came against the run of play.

The League One Bantams had gone close to breaking the deadlock on three occasions only to be hit by a home counter, Jon Franks’ cross returned by Jack Compton onto the forehead of James and he did the rest from close range.

And the Amble-born ace reflected: “The first 20 minutes they were on top but once we got the first I thought we were brilliant.

“It’s my first-ever header – I think it’s my new haircut.

“After that every one wanted to get in on it and to have five different scorers was great.

“All of the lads were buzzing but we have to build on it now.”