Paul Murray looks to bring three new signings to Hartlepool United this week

TO GOALS: Jonathan Franks in action against East Thurrock United. Picture by FRANK REID
TO GOALS: Jonathan Franks in action against East Thurrock United. Picture by FRANK REID

PAUL Murray is set to add THREE new signings in the coming days – including another striker.

Hartlepool United beat East Thurrock United 2-0 at Victoria Park on Saturday to progress into the second round of the FA Cup leaving Murray to celebrate his first win in charge.

A Jonathan Franks double was enough to see off the Ryman Premier League side, whose keeper David Hughes was outstanding.

Pools should have scored far more but for a mixture of poor finishing and brilliant shot-stopping which left Murray calling for his side to be more clinical.

Since taking charge Murray has made three signings, midfielders Sidney Schmeltz, Nicky Featherstone and striker Scott Fenwick but he wants three more permanent signings through the door.

“There are three other targets that I am interested in and we are going to try to get them over the line early this week,” said Murray.

“Whether we can or not – the wheels are turning – but we’ll have to see.

“One will be a striker. We only have two of our own strikers on the books, that is not very good.”

Former Dunston star Fenwick was cup-tied, while Middlesbrough didn’t allow on-loan Charlie Wyke to play leaving Murray with just Marlon Harewood to call on.

He was supported by Schmeltz and Franks outside, who scored in each half.

But Franks and Harewood were both guilty of missing several gilt-edged chances to make it a more comfortable afternoon at the Vic.

“Their keeper was fantastic and pulled off some marvellous saves but we need to be more clinical,” said Murray.

“It is a boost to create so many chances, no matter who you are playing against, but we need to finish more chances.

“Scott [Fenwick] will definitely be involved [on Saturday] against Southend United for sure because his percentages are great.

“In training the other day he must have had 20 shots, 15 were on target and he scored 10 of them.

“It would have been a great game for Scott to have come off the bench or started in but he was cup-tied.

“I am pleased to have got the backing from the club [to bring in new players].

“I have worked hard to get the deals that we have done thrashed out and I’m keen to get the others in, if we can.”

Of the three targets, one is expected to be another central defender and a goalkeeper.

For the third successive match, Pools didn’t name a back-up stopper on the bench and have been without a permanent number two since Andy Rafferty left.

Murray has had three trialists training including ex-Boro keeper James Montgomery and ex-Doncaster Rovers stopper Jonathan Maxted.

But Murray admitted: “The goalkeepering situation is far from ideal and bringing in a keeper has to be a priority. We can’t keep going with no keeper on the bench.

“If we lost Scott [Flinders] then we would have to put Sam Collins in goal or something like that.

“I think that had an affect on Scott when he was wary about coming out [for a challenge against Newport last week] and getting the ball in case he got sent off.

“We have had three keepers in on trial, whether any of them are ideal for the slot, I don’t know.”