CHUFFED Colin Cooper said his Hartlepool United players deserved huce credit after overcoming the “best side to have played at Victoria Park this season”.
Pools beat Dagenham & Redbridge in Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two fixture thanks to a 12th minute goal from James Poole and an Andy Monkhouse header from a corner with 10 minutes to go.
That was either side of a fine strike from the Daggers’ Zavon Hines, who had wriggled his way past two Pools defenders before curling a lovely effort past the despairing dive of Scott Flinders to equalise.
But Pools bounced back and went on to take all three points – their fifth league win in six matches and third win on the trot at Victoria Park.
Cooper said: “I have to give the players full credit.
“It is easy for me to say we are not free flowing, we are not this and we are not that, but we are at times and we play some really nice football.
“We try to be progressive and create chances and we’ve scored two goals. One was a bit scruffy and the other from a set-piece but I don’t really care.
“I thought my team, to a man, really dug in and made sure that we had an opportunity to go on and win the game.
“I thought Dagenham were as good a side as we have played here at The Vic this year so I am really, really pleased, to be walking away with three points.”
The opening goal came after a bright start, with Poole prodding home after Luke James’ fired across the face of Chris Lewington’s goal.
Thje busy Hines fired home the leveller when he cut inside Matty Dolan and left-back Neil Austin before curling a left-footed strike past the despairing hands of Flinders.
Monkhouse’s quick feet then helped win a corner, from which Matty Dolan curled in an inswinger onto the head of Monkhouse at the back stick, and he headed home to send the Town End wild.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin, Franks (Rodney 90), Walton, Dolan, Monkhouse, Poole (Sweeney 67), James (Richards 86). Subs not used: Collins, Rafferty, Holden, Walker. Booked: Monkhouse, Burgess, Walton, Austin. Goals: Poole 12, Monkhouse 79.
Dag & Red: Lewington, Hoyte, Doe, Saah, Connors, Ogogo, Bingham, Howell (Dickson 81), Elito (Obafemi 89), Murphy, Hines. Subs not used: Wilkinson, Ilesanmi, Scott, Shields, Seabright. Booked: Hines. Goals: Hines 56.
Att: 3,450 Ref: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire).