FULL-TIME REPORT: Pools 2 Scunthorpe 0

HARTLEPOOL United secured their first win of the season courtesy of goals from Jonathan Franks and Luke James as bottom club Scunthorpe United were sent packing from Victoria Park.

Neale Cooper’s broke their duck for the season when Jonathan Franks smashed a first-half opener.

Fellow summer signing Steve Howard missed a second-half penalty but substitute Luke James settled home nerves when he volleyed a stunning second late on.

Pools were sharp out of the blocks and an Evan Horwood free-kick on six minutes brought sighs of despair from the home crowd as it dropped just inches wide of the upright with keeper Sam Slocombe well beaten.

Opposite number Scott Flinders was in trouble moments later when scrambling to reach Mike Grella’s 12-yard drag, but the ball was always bobbling wide and the score remained goalless.

Despite their lowly status as the division’s 24th-placed side, The Iron were inventive in the final third and fashioned a string of half openings with only some last-ditch defending denying them an opener.

But Pools were still enjoying the odd sight at goal and both Howard and Tony Sweeney fired into the away fans behind the visiting target after working room for a shot on the fringe of the area.

Franks, however, did find the target on 23 minutes when he steamed onto Horwood’s far-post dink and the wideman made no mistake with a first-time drive into the bottom corner.

But Pools were lucky to take their lead into the break after a sloppy Neil Austin pass lead to a Scunthorpe corner.

From that delivery Niall Canavan got the better of Sam Collins before hammering a volley into the turf which bounced up onto Flinders’ crossbar before bouncing to safety.

There was still time for Franks to land a cross onto the head of Sweeney but his effort was straight at Slocombe.

Flinders had to be on his guard to preserve Pools’ lead just minutes after the restart for the second period when Josh Walker hammered on goal from range, the home netminder backpedalling to brush over the crossbar.

Pools’ defensive frailties remained and another Austin error allowed Grella a sight at goal just after the hour mark but his 12-yard thump was again diverted over by Flinders.

But a sedate second half was brought to life when Sweeney’s goal-bound header was clawed from the line by midfielder Josh Walker on 78 minutes, resulting in a penalty and a red card.

Up stepped Howard but he was denied a first goal since his return to the club when Slocombe dived low to his left to glove clear.

But James made sure of the points when he collected an Andy Monkhouse cross on the penalty spot before dispatching a crisp volley beyond a helpless Slocombe on 87 minutes.