LUKE James can’t stop scoring – and he insists he can carry on in his rich vein of form.
Hartlepool United’s leading marksman is up to a magnificent seven in a memorable season following three in the last three games.
He received a heavy challenge from the Exeter keeper as he scored the spectacular third to put the icing on the cake in the 3-0 win at St James Park.
But it has been his two goals in the back-to-back Victoria Park wins over Plymouth Argyle and Wimbledon which have brought most pleasure.
The spectacular solo goal against Plymouth gave Pools a marvellous win after playing for three quarters of the match with 10 men while his goal against the Dons was a long-range header which regained the lead for Colin Cooper’s side.
“I hope the goals keep coming,” said the 18-year-old.
“The team have had a good run of form and I have to, so hopefully it can continue.
“The goal against Plymouth or the one against Wimbledon on Tuesday night have probably been my favourites.
“I don’t normally score with headers so that was a good one for me, definitely.
“It was a fair way out and I just think the defender didn’t think I’d get it.
“I just managed to get my head to it and it’s ended up in the back of the net.”
Both goals have come at crucial times for Pools, as James acknowledged.
“Wimbledon were just starting to threaten to get on top and we were a bit under the cosh,” he said. “It was good timing.
“The goals have been coming at good times because if you can score when the other team is on top it can knock their confidence.”
While James and Co are banging the goals in, the boys at the back are producing great defensive efforts.
Pools have not conceded a goal in open play for 473 minutes since Oxford scored midway through the second half of their 3-1 success at the Vic – the last occasion Cooper’s team have lost.
The only times Scott Flinders has picked the ball out his net in the last five matches have been three penalties
“Obviously, if we’re keeping clean sheets then we’re not going to lose games,” James told SportMail.
“If you keep the other team out and put a couple of chances away at the other end then it should keep being good for us.
“Hopefully we can continue with another three points at Scunthorpe.
“It will be a bonus for me if I can score again, but we as a team will definitely be going there for the three points.
“We’ve had five in a row and the belief is high at the moment and hopefully it will keep getting higher.”
l POOLS Youth team will be looking for their fourth win of the season when they host Hull City in the Youth Alliance at Welfare Park, Blackhall tomorrow (kick-off 11.30am.
John Hewitson’s side are back at home after two heavy defeats, at Oldham and Bradford.
But they won last time out at the Blackhall ground, when they saw off Notts County 3-2 in a five-goal thriller.
l MORE Pools: Page 54-55