Jonathan Franks fires Hartlepool United to best win of season at Morecambe

GOALDEN JOY: Jonathan Franks celebrates his late winner against Morecambe. Photograph by FRANK REID
GOALDEN JOY: Jonathan Franks celebrates his late winner against Morecambe. Photograph by FRANK REID

SAVIOUR Jonathan Franks believes Hartlepool United’s dominant display against Morecambe was their best of the season.

The 23-year-old popped up with a low volley in the third minute of stoppage time in the Sky Bet League Two match to secure the 2-1 win and send the travelling army of Pools supporters into raptures.

Moments before the former Middlesbrough forward had smashed an effort off the bar after Morecambe had equalised in the 87th minute through Jack Sampson.

A double save from Scott Flinders then kept Pools in the match before Franks’ moment of glory, the forward connecting after substitute Darren Holden’s long throw eventually fell to him.

His sweetly struck first-time volley – his fifth goal of the season – found the corner of the net to secure all three points for Colin Cooper’s men.

And Franks, who had been impressive all match with his driving runs, said: “It is probably the best we have played all season.

“Even with the bad surface, the lads did really well to get the ball down and play some nice football.

“It was similar to Bury away, where the pitch was terrible, but against them we didn’t get the ball down and play but against Morecambe we did.

“We set the tempo. We were solid at the back, and if we needed to hit the ball long we did and we played in their half a lot of the time.”

Franks thought he should have scored two minutes before he actually did but his shot cannoned off the bar and down on to the line.

The former England youth international said: “I should have scored with my left foot when it hit the bar, I probably hit it too nice.

“I knew it hadn’t crossed the line, but you have to appeal.

“I should have scored though and thought at that point that it wasn’t going to be our day.

“Then in the last minute it fell to me, and I just thought I have got to get a good connection with it and luckily it went in .

“It took a few seconds to sink in and then it was just a big relief from my point of view and brilliant to get the three points.”

Franks said the win, in part, was down to the impressive character shown by the young Pools team, who only had one player over 30, left-back and captain Neil Austin.

The forward said: “Scott Flinders pulled off a couple of saves and we were unlucky to concede a goal, it was a sloppy goal to concede.

“But we had the character in such a young side to pull it back.

“We were pleased with the point at Chesterfield after going down to 10 men but still played good football.

“Against Morecambe we played some really good stuff and it was great to get all three points.”