John Hughes says there’s no stopping Pools goal machine Jack Baldwin

Jack Baldwin scores with a header against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
Jack Baldwin scores with a header against Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID

JACK Baldwin headed his second goal from as many matches at Portsmouth – and John Hughes believes the teenager won’t stop there.

Having broken his senior duck with a brave effort during last Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth, another nod at Fratton Park this time got the winning reward it deserved.

Baldwin opened the scoring with a cushioned steer into the bottom corner in the 18th minute.

And Hughes says the 19-year-old – now operating in a midfield role – can add goals to his game.

“It’s funny how these things happen in football – you get one then they come along like buses,” laughed the Scot.

“I’m delighted for Jack.

“He’s playing in a position which is a wee bit alien to him in midfield but he’s rolling up his sleeves and battling for the cause.

“It’s a new role but he has so much ability I think he can get in and around the box and be a threat, we’ve seen that.”

Baldwin was substituted 15 minutes from time, but Hughes says that was no reflection of his performance.

“I took Jack off because he had a wee knock on his ankle and because we wanted to change it a little bit going into the last 15 minutes,” he explained.

“But I thought he was a different class.”

Goals from James Poole and substitute Greg Rutherford – with his first professional strike - saw home the 3-1 victory against Pools’ relegation rivals.

And Hughes praised his trio of young scorers.

“You need to find inspiration and that can come from so many different places,” he said.

“On Saturday it was the young ones leading from the front – Jack, Poolie and Greg with their goals.

“They were three very well-taken goals.

“It was a composed finish from Greg but I thought he’d just over-run it a wee bit.

“Once he opened his feet up it was a great finish.

“He did exactly what we asked of him.

“He went up there and was a nuisance and was making positive runs.

“He’s still learning his game but it was great to get his first goal in front of our supporters.”