Hartlepool 2 Rochdale 0: Teen star James ends Pools’ home hell

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Teenager Luke James was the star of the show as Hartlepool United finally ended a run of nine straight home defeats thanks to a 2-0 victory over Rochdale.

The 17-year-old netted a stunning second for Neale Cooper’s men to seal a first home win in three-and-a-half months and a first for the Scottish boss since his return to the club.

James was switched to a centre-forward role for the visit of Chris Beech’s side and it was a ploy which worked.

Sub James Brown made the breakthrough forcing his way onto a bouncing ball inside the area before heading beyond Kurucz from six yards.

It was the first time Pools had led at Victoria Park since mid September.

And their advantage was doubled nine minutes from time when man-of-the-match James served up his goal-of-the-season contender with a 25-yard volley which whistled into the top corner.

* Full report in tonight’s Football Echo