JAMES Poole admits that the elation of Saturday’s match-winning double at Rochdale was a far cry from the embarrassment of seven days earlier.
The 21-year-old suffered the ignominy of being brought on and then brought off after Pools squandered a two-goal lead to draw at Stevenage.
But it was a different story for the former Manchester City trainee at Spotland – as unbeaten Pools secured their first League One win.
On as a first-half replacement for the injured Colin Nish with the score at 1-1, Poole smashed home a stunning volley two minutes after the break before sealing the points with a nonchalant dink late on.
And the jubilant supersub said: “I’m delighted with the result and my goals, but I think the best word to sum up our emotion is relief.
“Last week was gutting for everyone – we weren’t good enough, personally and as a team.
“For me, it was strange to be brought off after coming on and it’s something I’ve never experienced before and I don’t want to ever again.
“Saturday, though, was the other end of the scale and it was just a brilliant performance and brilliant for me to get the goals.”
The second half was just 90 seconds old when Poole ran onto Andy Monkhouse’s knockdown before levelling with a first-time volley beyond a stunned David Lucas from 20 yards.
Poole made sure of the points two minutes from time, racing on to Ritchie Humphreys’ pass before dropping the ball over Lucas in confident fashion.
Poole reflected: “The first goal was probably a better goal, but I took more satisfaction from the second because it made sure of the win.”
ROCHDALE: Lucas, Darby, Balkestein, Holness, Widdowson, Tutte, Jones, Kennedy (Thompson 61), Adams (Barnes-Homer 73), Akpa Akpro, Grimes. Subs not used: Kean, Trotman, Twaddle. Goal: Akpa Akpro 16
HARTLEPOOL: Flinders, Haslam, Austin, Hartley, Horwood, Monkhouse, Liddle, Murray, Humphreys, Boyd (Brown 71), Nish (Poole 38). Subs not used: Rafferty, Baldwin, Holden. Goals: Boyd 7, Poole 47, 87
Att: 2,600. Ref: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire)