John Askey hails 'complete' Hartlepool United after impressive York City showing
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It was a win the entire club needed as Hartlepool brought an end to their recent barren run of form in stunning fashion with an emphatic display at the LNER Community Stadium.
Askey, who was making his return to York for the first time since his surprise exit from the club almost a year ago to the day, had his side at it from the get-go with his four changes paying dividends, particularly midfielder Callum Cooke who produced a hat-trick of assists.
Jake Hastie continued his recent uplift when it comes to his Hartlepool career when he opened the scoring inside six minutes as Pools, once again, made a fast start.
The Scotsman latched onto a clever ball from Cooke to race in on goal and calmly beat George Sykes-Kenworthy.
And the 1,500 strong away following had more to cheer 10 minutes later when Cooke was provider again, standing a ball up to Tom Crawford on the edge of the area to fire into the corner.
It was a superb opening 45 minutes from Askey’s side, whose only frustration will have been that his side were not further ahead.
But his team soon put that right when adding a third on the break early in the second half as Cooke threaded a ball into Nicky Featherstone who finished well underneath to goalkeeper.
And despite Tyler Cordner grabbing a late consolation for the home side, Askey was able to mark his return to the LNER Community Stadium with an almost perfect display.
"I’m really pleased. We played as well as we’ve played all season,” he said.
"It’s been a while since we played like that. We came in at half-time and the only thing that was wrong was that we could have scored more goals, but I thought we saw the game out quite well as well, we were solid.
"It’s been a while [since we’ve had that winning feeling], and to do it here as well is pleasing.
"I said to the players before the game it feels like a proper game. The atmosphere was really good and these are the games you want play in. But it’s just nice to get back to winning ways.
"I think at the start of the season we played some great football, but perhaps that was the most complete performance. At the start of the season we were playing really well and then obviously the wheels came off when we got the injuries, but it’s nice to get back to something like where we need to be.
“We had one or two back who played in the right positions. That’s the main difference. Having said that we still had one or two, such as Hastie, not in their natural position.
“They all did well, but nobody is getting carried away. We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us. But if we can keep everybody fit then we can start getting one or two decent results.”