Hartlepool United teen star James relishes Monkhouse link-up

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FAR from announcing themselves as the new Toshack and Keegan or Beardsley and Cole, Luke James and Andy Monkhouse have nonetheless hit upon an understanding.

The pair were reunited in attack for Tuesday’s visit of Bradford City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

And the result was a devastating show of offensive panache and potency.

James opened the scoring with a tidy header and the pair were at the heart of everything good about Pools as they put five past the Bantams to record their biggest victory in nearly six years.

The duo were last used in tandem towards the back end of last season, the upshot a four-match unbeaten run in which Monkhouse netted four times.

James admits that he struggles to articulate exactly what works between the two.

But the 18-year-old believes that his partner, some 14 years his senior, provides the perfect foil to his livewire approach.

“Andy was unbelievable the other night, we know each other’s games very well,” James said ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Wycombe Wanderers.

“He didn’t score but he set up a few and was terrific.

“It worked at the back end of last year as well between us.

“He knows how I like to play and vice versa.

“There’s an understanding there between us which is a good thing.

“I don’t know what it is, but we have a good partnership.

“It’s just little things like me reading his flicks and him knowing where I’ll be running.

“I set one up for him at Crawley last season as well with the roles reversed.

“So as long as it’s working and we’re playing then brilliant.”

James’ opener on Tuesday was his first goal since April.

The teenager tends to embark on a scoring run once the net has bulged and he hopes that again proves to be the case.

“Scoring the other night with a header was different for me, but we have been on a bad run in front of goal so I’m just happy to get on the scoresheet and help the team out,” he said.

“I was in the right place, right time and the last few weeks or so it hasn’t been dropping for me or the team, but it did on Tuesday.

“I’m so glad it did, it gave everyone a lift and going in front gives you so much confidence rather than being a goal down like we have been in games.

“But we’ve got to continue now, it’s no good resting on that.

“And hopefully for me it will mean a good run in terms of scoring.”