Plymouth Argyle loan man Louis Rooney makes big impression on Hartlepool United debut

Hartlepool debutant Louis Rooney takes on Yeovil's Ryan Dickson.  Picture by Tom Banks
Hartlepool debutant Louis Rooney takes on Yeovil's Ryan Dickson. Picture by Tom Banks
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Plymouth Argyle must be handsomely stocked with strikers to let Louis Rooney come to Hartlepool United.

Rooney has now made two starts in the Football League and could easily have had five goals after having an opportunity of a hat-trick on his Hartlepool United debut against Yeovil Town.

The 20-year-old was moved out on loan in the dying minutes of transfer deadline day.

It was so late a deal in fact, it only just beat the 11pm closing of the window after he had been a substitute for promotion-chasing Argyle AGAINST Yeovil that evening.

But there was no bench duty for Rooney on Saturday – Pools boss Dave Jones either had a hunch or had seen enough in two training sessions to unleash the striker.

Rooney had made only one previous Football League start, which Pools knew all about, scoring twice on the final day of last season as Craig Hignett’s side were thumped 5-0.

Before you say ‘Pools were rubbish’, it is true they were not good on the day but the then 19-year-old still had to beat a top-notch keeper in Trevor Carson, his opener being 20-odd yard stunner while his second showed his goal-poaching instincts.

And those instincts were evident at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

He was lively from the off, having his first shot in the fifth minute, which was easily saved by Artur Krysiak.

The Plymouth-born forward, whose forename is pronounced Lewis and not Lewie, endeared himself to the 3,400 crowd by putting himself about, closing down defenders and also letting Krysiak know he was there as the keeper tried to allow the ball to run out for a goal-kick.

The goalie did not appear pleased!

But Krysiak would deny Rooney in the 48th minute with a tremendous reaction save when the striker got on the end of fellow debutant Andrew Nelson’s cross following some terrific work in the box.

Rooney did beat the Pole five minutes later but after rounding the keeper and shooting for goal, wise old defender Darren Ward had anticipated the danger and cleared off the line.

And Louis went close again 12 minutes from time when his low shot went the wrong side of the keeper’s left stick.

“It was a natural instinct for myself, trying to get a shot at goal as soon as possible,” he said of that reaction save by Krysiak. “I was unlucky not to get a goal but I’ll keep getting those shots off.

“The one that was cleared, that’s just the way it goes sometimes when you see a player get back on the line to clear.

“But making more opportunities is what we need to try to do and I’ll try my best to be there for them.”

On the subject of opportunities, he sid it was not a tough dcision to join Pools.

“No, not at all,” he said.

“Any football in League Two is absolutely brilliant.

“I know this is a good club, I have been in contact with a few people who know Hartlepool United, like Peter Hartley, and my agent is from this area.

“I know it’s a good club to be coming into and I could not say no to a move like this.

“I really did enjoy it.

“It was great to get a full 90 minutes under my belt, my last was at the very end of last season. Just to be out on the pitch again playing at this level is what I want to be doing.”

Named as the sponsors’ man of the match, his busy approach won the appreciation of the Vic faithful.

“That is my game, I like to run around, pass the ball, win it back,” he said.

“I like to believe the way I play football will encouage the fans.

“It’s always a bonus to have the supporters on your side.”