HARTLEPOOL United might have picked up their best away win of the season, but boss Colin Cooper is demanding they do it again ... and again.
Pools gained their first away victory under Cooper on Saturday when they took Mansfield Town to the cleaners.
And Cooper wants to see Pools follow that up with success in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Sheffield United tomorrow night and at high-flying Exeter in League Two on Saturday.
“I doubt League Two will sit up and take notice (of the win at Mansfield), Cooper said. “But from my point of view, it’s small steps and that was a terrific away performance.
“We have two more away matches to come, though.
“We’ll be able to gauge on Saturday evening when we’re coming back from Exeter how the week has gone.
“Let’s not leave everything at Mansfield – let’s go to Sheffield and Exeter and back this up.
“If the players are prepared to put their bodies on the line and then are prepared to pass and play when the oppotrtunity arises, then we’ll continue to create chances.
“If we do that I think we’ll be all right.”
Pools certainly set a standard at Field Mill where they scored four and could easily have had eight.
However, there was almost a disastrous start when Mansfield went close in the fifth-minute. But Ryan Tafazolli first hit the post with a header and then put the rebound over Scott Flinders’ bar with his right foot. The Stags would not get near the Pools’ goal for another hour.
Mansfield keeper Alan Marriott had only seen the back of his net over the previous two Saturdays to place and retrieve his keeper’s bag. Not this time. The League Two player of the month contender was forced to bend his back four times, picking out the ball.
Andy Monkhouse got the goal of the season show rolling in the seventh minute. He won the header from Flinders’ goal-kick and then took the ball back from Michael Duckworth and advanced towards goal.
The Stags backed off and he pulled the trigger from almost 30 yards and his left-foot bullet fired into Marriott’s left corner.
Jack Compton made it two a minute from the break, cutting in onto his left foot and his 18-yard shot bouncing just in front of Marriott before ending in the back of the net.
Within five minutes of the re-start he had his second and Pools’ third. James Poole was tripped off the ball just a few yards outside the box and Compton’s delicious free-kick over the wall went into the top-left corner.
Mansfield pulled a goal back from the spot after a handball from Sam Collins, but it was Pools’ day.
And 10 minutes from time, Compton made inroads down the right and set up Poole on the edge of the area.
He controlled and fired home, with Marriott beaten for the fourth time in his left corner.
Mansfield: Marriott, Dempster, Tafazolli (Meikle 24), Sutton, Beevers, Howell, Hutchinson (Palmer 46), McGuire, Jennings, Andrew (Rhead 46), Clucas. Subs not used: Murtagh, Stevenson, Speight, Daniel. Booked: Howell, Jennings. Goals: Clucas 75 pen.
Hartlepool: Flinders, Duckworth, Burgess, Collins, Austin, Poole, Walton, Baldwin, Compton (Franks 80), Monkhouse (Richards 80), James. Subs not used: Rafferty, Sweeney, Holden, Rodney, Walker. Booked: James, Burgess, Baldwin. Goals: Monkhouse 8, Compton 44, 50, Poole 79.
Att: 3,457 Ref: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire).