JOE Ironside is hoping for three valuable points for Hartlepool United among his Christmas presents this year to kick-start their survival push.
The 21-year-old scored his first goal in the blue and white stripes of Pools with a cool finish from the edge of the penalty area to give Ronnie Moore’s side the lead against Oxford United.
Sadly, it didn’t prove to be the winner as Michael Appleton’s side came back to claim a point against bottom-side Pools, who find themselves seven points adrift.
It was Ironside’s first start as well since signing on a month-long loan deal from parent club Sheffield United and he is relishing his time at the club.
He just hopes they can build on the draw and go on an unbeaten festive run.
Ironside said: “It has been a busy week off the pitch with the new owners and new manager but we have just gone about our business as usual.
“We have just been coming in and working hard and we really wanted the three points against Oxford.
“It was a shame we didn’t get that but we’ll settle for one and we are now looking to pick up some wins over the Christmas period.
“This stopped the run of defeats and hopefully now we can go on an unbeaten run ourselves.
“That is what I am looking forward to,” added the Blades striker, whose loan deal runs out at the end of this month.
Ironside – who was playing up front alongside experienced striker Marlon Harewood – impressed with his workrate against Oxford and got his rewards with his second-half goal.
“When I was growing up Marlon was the man in the Premier League playing for West Ham United and Villa and it was nice to play alongside him,” added the loanee.
“I have been working hard every day in training and I just wanted to take my chance when it came.
“I think I did that.”
He looks set to keep his place in the side for the trip to Mansfield Town on Boxing Day (KO 3pm) ahead of the home match against Morecambe at Victoria Park on Sunday, December 28 (KO 3pm).
Fans can take advantage of cut-price tickets for the home match thanks to an initiative by new owners TMH 2014.
It worked against Oxford United, with the second largest home crowd of the campaign cheering on Moore’s side.
Ironside added: “The atmosphere was more upbeat than it has been and the fans were unbelievable.
“They were cheering us on so much, even when we had a bad touch.
“That gives you an extra yard of pace or an extra 10 per cent and it can help make the difference.”