Jonathan Franks is the head boy for Hartlepool
Jonathan Franks is a forward who plays with his heart as well as his head.
The 27-year-old proved that as Hartlepool United made it back-to-back victories for the first time this season in a 3-1 romp over Maidstone United.
Franks headed in the pivotal second goal from a Nicky Deverdics cross, just when the Kent team appeared to be taking a foothold in the match, before producing some battling play and a terrific ball to set up Connor Simpson’s first goal for Pools.
But Franks has a confession to make, his 57th-minute success from 12 yards was only his THIRD headed goal for Pools.
And it came after he missed a must-score header from a couple of yards in the first half.
“I’ve got to score from there,” he told SportMail after failing to nod in a Deverdics corner from the right at the Rink End. “I was devastated.
“Luckily one fell to me in the second half, a bit further out, and fortunately it went in.”
Despite it only being his third successful header, he was somewhat modest in his description.
“This was my third header, I got one against Blyth and another against East Thurrock.
“There might have been a couple of bodies in the way of the keeper, I don’t know, I thought he might have saved it, I wasn’t expecting it to go in.
“It might have skidded off the floor, I’m not sure, all I know is it went in.”
Franks though did explain just how important his goal was for Pools, who had controlled the first half yet only led 1-0 thanks to defender Keith Watson’s first goal for the club, following a 19th-minute Deverdics corner.
“We maybe should have been more than one up at half-time, we had other opportunities and I missed that one at the back post,” said Franks.
“We didn’t start the second half too well but we got my goal at a good time.
“I’d got into position in the middle of the pitch and wanted the ball off Hawksey but it went out to Devs on the left on a big overlap.
“I knew he was going to put it in so I got into the box and I got on the end of it. I kept it down and may be the keeper should have had it but it went in and it gave us some breathing space.”
Saturday’s win, in front of a 4,137 crowd, was a step up from the first victory of the season, via a Franks shot this time.
Pools played some attractive football against the Stones, not to mention a pressing game which gave the visitors an uncomfortable afternoon.
“Monday was hard-earned and so was this, but we played some good football and scored a few goals which was a bonus,” said the former Boro striker.
“We pressed well as a unit and got some opportunities on the back of that.
“The lads really enjoyed it out there.
“We got sloppy at times, but the lads stuck together and communicated well, telling each other to lift the levels when we needed to.”
Franks has made it two goals in the last two games and is repaying the faith put in him by boss Craig Harrison, who signed him after impressing in a trial stay following his release by Ross County.
“I’m enjoying it,” said the energetic forward who says good old-fashioned hard graft has been the key ingrdient.
“We didn’t have the best of starts and while we have the quality on the dressing room, we were lacking something in the early games.
“This league is not just about quality, it’s about the work-rate and the graft, the determination, I think the lads have got that we just had to adapt to the division.
“No matter what level you are playing you have to do the nasty side of the game, the stuff that isn’t pretty.
“Last Monday at Guiseley it was like that for 90 minutes or 98 as it turned out!
“We went in with that mentality, but we also got the chance to play a bit of football and you could see the confidence the lads showed.
“It was disappointing to concede that goal at the end but we don’t want to put a dampener on the day.
“We scored three goals and hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.”