JACK Compton hailed the ‘Colin Cooper factor’ after his spectacular double strike took Hartlepool United to a 4-1 win at Mansfield Town.
Compton netted two beauties either side of the interval at Field Mill as Compton and Pools cut loose for Cooper’s first away success and the club’s best since they won 4-2 at Leyton Orient in September 2007.
The winger has threatened to do it on more than one occasion this season since his summer move to Victoria Park.
And everything came together on Saturday and but for a super Alan Marriott save on 22 minutes, the Cardiff-born left-footer could have had a hat-trick.
Compton’s goal may have been dedicated to his baby daughter, Arrabella.
But there was a thought to his mentor when he faced the media after his heroics.
The much-travelled winger said his goals were thanks to Cooper, who brought him to Pools after being released by Colchester.
“I said to so many people I will keep getting better and better and I’d like to think that’s the case,” he said.
“The gaffer is someone who will put an arm around me and that’s what I need really.
“I’m not very tough mentally and if someone has a go at me, you will probably lose me.
“But that’s something I’m working on every day.
“The gaffer is the reason why I’m here, he knows me and believes in me which is what every player wants.
“He has given me a chance.
“He believed in me at Bradford and I played well under him there, and he gives me so much confidence.”
Cooper selected Compton down the right of a five-man midfield and his first goal came from that side as did his assist for the team’s fourth, by James Poole.
His free-kick in the 50th minute was perfectly hit also.
But a modest Jack said Andy Monkhouse’s seventh-minute screamer was the pick of the goals.
“I was on the right this time, it suited me,” he said.
“They kept backing off me and giving me the chance to get in on goal.
“I was delighted with the strike, but Monks’ was a great goal – even I’ll give him that!
“I cut inside, hit it, and then saw it in the back of the net – I was delighted.
“For the free-kick, I picked my spot. I do it in training all the time and now need to bring it into games.”
For all the brilliance of Compton and his fellow scorers, he was quick to salute the players who laid the foundations – the back four and holding midfielders.
“I can’t praise the back four enough and in midfield Jack has gone in there alongside Simon and they bossed it.”
– ROY KELLY