Morecambe 2 Hartlepool United 5: Match reaction, Hignett orders James to take penalty

Luke James celebrates. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James celebrates. Picture by FRANK REID
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Luke James is back on the goal trail - and you can see just what it means to him.

A Poolie since he was a boy, the striker scored his first goal for a year and his first for Hartlepool United since April 2014 when he inspired his team to a 5-2 victory at Morecambe.

James powered in a 76th-minute penalty past stand-in keeper Alex Kenyon in front of the Pools fans packed in the away end.

The 21-year-old's spot-kick success came only after Walker gave up the ball with great reluctance.

James had put Walker clear in the 75th minute with the sub rounding Barry Roche, who pulled the midfielder down.

Referee Carl Boyeson pointed to the spot and red-carded the keeper. With no goalie on the bench, there was a delay as Kenyon donned the yellow jersey to face the penalty.

There was much debate over who was taking the penalty with Walker taking possession of the ball.

But with the fans chanting "Luke, Luke, Luke" and boss Craig Hignett sending out orders for James to take it, Walker handed the ball to James, who duly made no mistake to make it 4-1.

"I wanted Lukey to have it," said Hignett.

"Brad had done fantastic to get the penalty, but I wanted Luke to get on the scoresheet for everything he's done.

"Since he's come back to the club his performances have been top drawer.

"His effort has been fantastic and I'm really pleased he's got a goal."

James was not finished and he set up Rhys Oates for number five, squaring the ball for the sub to score in the 89th minute, just two minutes after Tom Barkhuizen had pulled one back for the Shrimps.

Earlier, it was all about Nathan Thomas, who scored to goals and made the opener.

Restored to the side after recovering from a chest infection, the forward's fourth-minute shot led to Michael Woods putting Pools in front as the midfielder scored from Roche's spectacular save.

Thomas doubled the lead in the sixth minute and while Kenyon pulled one back for Morecambe, the Pools star scored a 50th-minute beauty to make it 3-1.

Then came the James show and wasn't he pleased?