James at the double as Hartlepool United triumph

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BEAMING Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper was delighted to start a “hell of a tough” week with a convincing win over Notts County in the first round of the FA Cup.

But there was little time to savour the victory as Pools take on Rotherham United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tomorrow night, followed by an equally tough trip to Newport County in Sky Bet League Two on Friday.

Cooper, last week named Sky Bet League Two manager of the month, believed his team thoroughly deserved the win but has called for two more similar performances in the space of the next five days.

The 46-year-old said: “We won a game on Saturday which we thoroughly deserved to win, but we have a hell of a tough game tomorrow night in order to progress in the JPT, which would be lovely also.

“Then there is only a short time to recover before we have a very tough league game down at Newport, who have a fantastic home record.

“We will see how we go, but I have no doubt that the one thing I will ask the players and they will continue to do, is to give me everything they have got.

“If we fall short it won’t be for the want of trying.”

Pools, who were drawn at home to Coventry in the second round yesterday, took the lead after just 16 minutes when Jack Baldwin scored with a bullet header from six yards from a Simon Walton free-kick.

The visitors were level two minutes later when a clearance from Matty Dolan hit County centre-half Dean Leacock and rebounded past Scott Flinders into the Pools goal.

Pools regained the lead on 42 minutes when Luke James tapped in after Bartosz Bialkowski had deflected Michael Duckworth’s low drive from 20 yards into his path.

James then struck again from close range in the 74th minute after another deflection fell in his path.

County substitute Ronan Murray did volley emphatically past Flinders to narrow the deficit again, but Pools held on to seal their progress.

Hartlepool: Flinders, Duckworth, Baldwin, Collins, Austin, Franks (Richards 86), Walton, Dolan, Monkhouse, Poole (Sweeney 86), James. Subs not used: Rafferty, Compton, Holden, Rodney, Walker. Booked: Monkhouse. Goals: Baldwin 16, James 42, 75.

Notts County: Bialkowski, Sheehan, Liddle, Leacock, Grealish (Showunmi 61), McGregor, Arquin, Labadie (Boucaud 61), Campbell-Ryce, Thompson (Murray 77), Fotheringham. Subs not used: Smith, Haworth, Spiess, Tempest. Booked: Labadie, Leacock. Goals: Walton 18 og, Murray 84.

Att: 3,313 Ref: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire).