Hartlepool star Walton out to make Victoria Park a fortress again

Have your say

HARTLEPOOL United midfielder Simon Walton admits it was a “huge relief” to secure back-to-back home wins last time Pools played at Victoria Park and he is now calling on his team-mates to ensure it continues.

Victoria Park hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Pools in recent seasons and before the recent Plymouth Argyle victory Colin Cooper’s side had only beaten one team at home in Sky Bet League Two, Accrington Stanley.

Pools have been beaten by Southend United, Fleetwood Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Oxford United at home already this season so the recent back-to-back league wins over Plymouth Argyle and AFC Wimbledon came as a welcome relief.

They came on the back of three away wins on the bounce and Walton said the team were especially keen to impress in front of their own fans.

Walton admits the win over Plymouth was a “weight off the shoulders” and he is looking to continue the improved home form this Saturday against Dagenham & Redbridge.

The battling 1-0 win against Plymouth saw Pools play the majority of the match with 10 men after Jack Compton was dismissed and that was followed up with a 3-1 win over Wimbledon three days later.

Now Walton is looking to carry on the home form and turn The Vic into a fortress again, with the help of the fans.

The 26-year-old, who scored his first of the campaign with a penalty against the Dons, said: “Relief is probably the biggest word.

“Especially against Plymouth which was quite a big win following the three away games and winning all three.

“To come back in front of the home fans though you want to put on a show.

“The fans have shown that they really get behind you when they can see things are going well and at the moment they are.

“It was a massive weight of the shoulders.

“Probably, not the way we wanted to do it, but we got the win in the end against Plymouth.

“Hopefully we can carry on that home form.

“Our away form, even towards the second half of last year, wasn’t really too bad.

“It was just playing at home and having the confidence and belief in ourselves to go at teams.

“Hopefully, touch wood, it is starting to come now.”

The 6ft 1in former Plymouth midfielder, who signed for Pools in the summer of 2012, has been in fine form in recent weeks alongside on-loan Middlesbrough midfielder Matty Dolan.

The pair have been a key reason behind the recent five-match winning run, which came to an end with the 1-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United last weekend.

Pools will now be looking to start a new winning run, starting this weekend against Dagenham & Redbridge at The Vic.