Hartlepool United shot up five places to ninth in League One thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Notts County at Victoria Park, writes CRAIG HOPE.
Neale Cooper’s men were in firm control throughout and they made it four unbeaten on home soil courtesy of a brace from Tony Sweeney and an effort from Andy Monkhouse.
Pools stuck with the side which was narrowly beaten at Preston North End on Tuesday night, but Adam Boyd, listed for loan on Friday, returned to the bench.
And it was the young man keeping him out of the side, teenager Luke James, who should have broken the deadlock on 26 minutes.
The 17-year-old was presented with the seemingly routine task of converting from close range when the ball fell into his path from a goalmouth scramble, but somehow he prodded wide.
And team-mate James Brown was guilty of another poor miss when he headed over from six yards having strode unmarked onto Neil Austin’s lofted centre just two minutes later.
But SWEENEY made no mistake from similar distance on 37 minutes when he rose to nod Evan Horwood’s expert centre into the bottom corner for his fifth of the season.
Pools were in control and James could have made it two when checking inside Liam Chilvers on the edge of the area but his right-footed curler flew wide.
The hosts should have been out of sight by the break and Sweeney, in on goal with just Stuart Nelson to beat, lifted over from six yards just seconds before the whistle for the interval.
But Sweeney wasn’t going to pass up another opening of such clarity and 11 minutes into the second half he made it two.
Monkhouse did well to free Austin down the right and when his low centre ran into the stride of SWEENEY, he duly dispatched first time from 12 yards.
And MONKHOUSE got his reward for his part in that goal when he drilled low into the bottom corner 12 minutes from time to cap a memorable afternoon.