Scruffy goal will do for Andy Monkhouse

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ANDY Monkhouse admitted his goal at Scunthorpe United was among the scruffiest he’ll score – but insisted the performance was “near perfect”.

The 31-year-old opened his account for the season when he broke the deadlock 21 minutes in at Glanford Park, scuffing home from 12 yards after the ball had run free in the penalty area.

But that effort was Pools’ reward for a commanding start and they continued to dominate their opponents until Antony Sweeney made sure of the points late in the game.

Monkhouse (left) again impressed in a centre-forward role, but the Yorkshireman was full of praise for the team performance.

“That was a near-perfect away performance from front to back,” he said after Pools chalked up their fifth away win of the campaign to move to 10th in League One.

“A lot has been said about home form, but our away form is among the best in the league and we don’t have any fear about going anywhere.

“I don’t want to sound big headed, but we were quite comfortable – (keeper) Andy Rafferty had one late free-kick to deal with and that was it.

“So there’s a lot of belief in the dressing room and no one can argue with our away form. We’ve won five now and maybe it’s because we don’t have to come out and attack teams.

“We can soak it up and we have the players on the break to hurt teams.”

Of his own effort – a right-foot swipe which bobbled through bodies and into the bottom corner – Monkhouse laughed: “Gary Liddle took his usual bad touch and it popped out for me to make the most of it.

“I’d like to say I picked my spot – but I can’t. I just hit it and saw it go on. It gets me off the mark.”

After that goal, Pools looked comfortable, though there was an odd incident when referee Andy Woolmer bizarrely booked Peter Hartley for a tug on Bobby Grant when it was Evan Horwood who had clearly been the perpetrator.

The caution now invokes a one-game suspension and Pools will be sweating on the outcome of an appeal if they are to have Hartley available for Saturday’s visit of Yeovil Town.

Pools made the game safe 12 minutes from the end when Sweeney directed a header into the top corner from another of Horwood’s pinpoint deliveries.

With back-to-back games at Victoria Park on the horizon, marrying home form to away is now the challenge for Mick Wadsworth’s men.

Scunthorpe: Slocombe, Wright (Norwood 78), Shane Duffy, Reid, Nolan, Grant, Togwell, O’Connor, Barcham (Mark Duffy 69), Dagnall, Ajose (Thompson 46). Subs Not Used: Johnstone, Canavan. Booked: Grant.

Hartlepool: Rafferty, Austin, Hartley, Wright, Horwood, Solano (Humphreys 71), Liddle, Murray (Haslam 86), Sweeney, Poole (Boyd 88), Monkhouse. Subs Not Used: Luscombe, Baldwin. Booked: Hartley, Austin, Wright. Goals: Monkhouse 21, Sweeney 77.

Att: 3, 861 Ref: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire).