TWO-goal hero Andy Monkhouse admits he was desperate to have the matchball for company on the 350-mile coach trip back to Hartlepool following Saturday’s 2-1 win at Exeter City.
Sadly, for Monkhouse, it wasn’t to be and the Yorkshire ace had to settle for a match-winning double – not a bad return – as he took his tally for the season to six.
The 30-year-old, though, was so eager to bag his first-ever treble that he confesses to ignoring better-placed team-mate in pursuit of a third goal.
And Monkhouse, while delighted to grab the headlines, was nonetheless disappointed that he didn’t add to the two goals he netted inside the opening half hour.
“After I got the second I had a few shots and the lads weren’t too happy,” said Monkhouse, who saw a 45th-minute goal-bound effort deflected wide by strike partner Colin Larkin.
“I’ve never scored a hat-trick in my career so I was trying to get it and Larks blocked it on the line, so that was nice of him!
“I’ve been having a bit of a go at him but I should have scored.
“I think we had a lot of chances and I should have had a hat-trick.
“But I’m delighted I got the two goals and more importantly we got the three points and it’s looking good for us now.”
Monkhouse, whose goals saw Pools move 13 points clear of relegation, opened the scoring after 21 minutes, collecting Larkin’s flick from a Sam Collins’ long throw before stepping by two home shirts and drilling low into the bottom corner from eight yards.
His second arrived just eight minutes later, this time using his less favoured right boot to sweep a measured strike beyond home keeper Ben Hamer.
And, of his double haul, Monkhouse said: “For the first one it opened up for me so I took a touch and had a shot and it went in.
“For the second one I don’t really know how I got the ball.
“Their lads were shouting ‘keep him on his right’ but I had a go on my right and luckily it hit the post and went in.”
He added: “I didn’t know I was playing up front until Friday morning. It worked quite well with Larks’ pace and I got two goals, so I can’t complain.
“But I’ve said all the time, wherever the manager wants to play me, I’ll play.
“And I know I will probably get the headlines for scoring two goals but to be fair all of the boys have put a great shift in.
“Scottie (Flinders) has made a couple of great saves as well and he’s showed what a great goalie he is since he’s come back into the team.
“But as a team we’ve dug in well and it’s a great three points.”
And Monkhouse had some congratulatory words for record-breaker Ritchie Humphreys as he moved past Watty Moore’s 472 club appearances.
“Humphs is a legend at this club, we all know that,” he said.
“It’s a great achievement and all of the lads are pleased for him and proud of what he’s done.
“I’ve been here for five years with him and he’s a top pro who younger players should look up to.”