Hartlepool Utd’s match-winner Poole: We deserved to beat Sheffield Utd

James Poole scores his goal against Sheffield United. Picture by FRANK REID
James Poole scores his goal against Sheffield United. Picture by FRANK REID

GOALSCORER James Poole believes Hartlepool United were deserved winners and should have beaten Sheffield United by more than just 1-0.

The lively forward, who played just behind striker Luke James, scored the winner in the 37th minute with a deft volley from an Andy Monkhouse flick-on following a long throw by Darren Holden.

The strike from the 23-year-old was the difference between Pools and the League One side, who are struggling to find their feet this season and were subjected to loud boos on the final whistle from the disgruntled home fans.

But Poole believes Colin Cooper’s side were well worthy of the win and admits it could, and should have been, more.

Poole said: “There is no thinking we have nicked this, we were more than value for the win.

“We had clear cut chances and restricted them to 25 to 35 yard shots which Scott Flinders dealt with comfortably and on another day I thought we could have been three, maybe four, goals up.”

Sheffield United could have taken the lead in the first minute when they hit the bar but Pools recovered well from that early scare and went on to put in a very dogged and determined display.

Poole said: “Sometimes when games start like that you think “Oh god, here we go”.

“But I don’t really want to say the word comfortable because the lads are knackered and have given everything they could.

“What I think is positive is that we have so much more to give. It was a dogged performance, we worked hard and matched their runs.

“But on the ball we do, as a group, have more quality. But if we can win when we are not playing as well then that bodes well for the future.”

Poole, who followed up his strike against Mansfield Town at the weekend with another clinical finish at Bramall Lane, said: “I got a bit of a shout from Monks to get myself in the box because there was a throw or a cross two minutes earlier and I’d stayed on the edge of the box.

“But when Monks says do something you tend to do it next time and I have read the flick and got a good contact.

“From seven or eight yards out you want to get a good contact and more often than not they go in.”

The forward said it was important Pools carried the momentum from Saturday’s 4-1 win over Mansfield Town in League Two into last night’s cup fixture.

Poole said: “The management had a game plan and all the lads knew what we were doing and stuck to it.

“If one person goes off and does their own thing it can be bad for the team but all the players and the subs knew their jobs.

“It was very important to carry on the momentum from Saturday into tonight, which we did.”