Hartlepool United ended 2013 with promise and a positive outlook – they have started 2014 terribly.
Back-to-back impressive displays and results at Chesterfield and Morecambe meant Pool entered January with a real spring in the step.
Two games on, they are deflated following succcessive 3-0 home defeats. First Bury and now Rochdale have gone back to Greater Manchester with victory.
Pool never got going. They hit the crossbar on 15 minutes and didn’t create anywhere near enough after that. Again they fell behind as the ball deflected off striker George Donnelly after his first shot was blocked.
Number two arrived with a very good volley from the edge of the penalty area by Peter Kavanagh. By the time Graham Cummins turned in the third in the 90th minute the game – and crowd – was long gone. Cooper is hoping to add three new players to his squad this week and they need a lift.
Niggles and injuries have started to bite and Pool are believed to be close to signing Marlon Harewood, once of Newcastle United.
Cooper admitted: “We are nearly there, nothing confirmed yet.
“I’ve three deals on-going I’d like to think can happen.
“It’s not down to me. I’ve done the work I wanted to do.
“Again it’s easy to sit here and have everyone thinking about X, Y and Z and we have put things in place to do. Now we need to see if other people will allow that work to come to fruition.”
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders; Richards, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin; Walker, Walton; Franks (Compton 68), Poole (Rodney 61), Monkhouse; James. Subs: Rafferty (gk), Collins, Sweeney, Holden, Hawkins.
ROCHDALE: Lillis; Rose, O’Donnell, Lancashire, Bennett; Vincenti, Cavanagh, Lund (Donnelly 21; Cummins 81), Done; Henderson; Hogan (Bunney 83). Subs: Thomson, Rafferty, Eastham, Allen.
Goals: Donnelly 49, Cavanagh 65, Cummins 90.
Referee: Ray Lewis (Shrewsbury. ) Attendance: 3685