Hartlepool Utd boss praises goalscorers in Dag & Red win

Goal scorers Andy Monkhouse and Luke Williams celebrate their goals against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID
Goal scorers Andy Monkhouse and Luke Williams celebrate their goals against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID

GOALSCORERS Luke Williams and Andy Monkhouse have been praised by their manager for the impact they had on the match.

The on-loan Middlesbrough forward opened the scoring in the 68th minute with a 30-yard dipping effort that deflected off Luke Wilkinson’s back and looped over keeper Chris Lewington’s head.

While the deflection undoubtedly helped, Williams’ effort was on target and the technique from the new terrace favourite was faultless.

The 20-year-old took a touch with his right foot, let it bounce, before unleashing a volley and celebrating with swagger.

Boss Colin Cooper said Williams has shown in training he is well capable of scoring such goals – his first for Pools.

“When you’ve got someone of Luke’s ability you know he will try things and when the ball dropped to him he was always going to hit it,” said Cooper.

“He’s been very good for us and we knew he’d get a goal, it’s been a case of when not if.

“The luck bit comes in there, the defender comes out to try and get a block and put him under pressure and that alters the trajectory over the goalkeeper and it loops over the top of him.

“He was always going to hit it and it would have been somewhere near without the deflection.”

The former Middlesbrough and England international also praised Monkhouse for his second-half performance, which resulted in an 89th minute goal to wrap up the victory.

Monkhouse took his time before slotting the ball through the defender’s legs after a marvellous knock-down from 19-year-old striker Luke James.

Amble-born James arched his neck to connect with substitute Jonathan Franks’ deep cross, in order to give Monkhouse the opportunity to score his sixth of the season - his first since the start of December.

Cooper added: “We changed Marlon [Harewood] for Franksy in order to put a bit of extra energy up top and Marlon had played his part and was disappointed to come off, which I don’t mind.

“But we thought Franksy would get their defenders on the back foot and that was proved with the second goal.

“Franksy didn’t just put his head down and throw it in the box, he stayed on the ball a bit longer, got his head up and gave their defenders something to think about and floated one to the back stick.

“Luke’s attempt to hang in the air and head it back to Andy was excellent and I was pleased for Andy to get a goal too. He got a nasty knock in the first-half and was sore at half-time but wanted to crack on so for him to get the reward at the end is nice for us and he had to keep his cool to finish.

“We had dithered about introducing Jack Barmby with Andy’s knock, but decided to let him see it out because when we are under pressure he is an outlet.

“He grew into the game and was better in the second-half than the first, maybe that is the reason why he got the chance towards the end.

“Andy said himself afterwards it had been a while coming, so I am pleased for him.”