Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper expressed his delight after earning his first win since returning to the club as they beat Rochdale 2-0 to snap a run of nine successive home defeats.
Pools last won at Victoria Park in mid-September, but they sent their supporters home happy for once thanks to James Brown's opening goal and a spectacular volley from teenager Luke James.
Cooper said: "I'm really proud of them. I said at half-time I wanted that effort from the boys. On Monday I was left disappointed with them all losing to Scunthorpe. They had a day off cancelled and reacted well."
He added: "They trained well and we were excellent. Everyone gave their lot, when the crowd sees the team play like that and give that effort, they will get behind them. It's the monkey off their back now they have won at home.
"We played a different way, got the ball in behind them. That was our plan in training and young Luke James, his work ethic is second to none.
"People may have thought we had a wee striker out there, but look at his performance. He was immense.
"And what a wonderful strike for his goal, superb. We took him off at the end to get a reaction like he did and if he plays like this then people will be sniffing around."
Rochdale, second-bottom in the npower League One table, offered little going forward despite handing a debut to loanee Brett Ormerod and caretaker boss Chris Beech blasted the manner of Brown's opener.
He said: "What we want to do, we didn't do it. We did better second half and we conceded what would be a poor, schoolboy-type goal. That changed the game in Hartlepool's ascendancy. We edged it up to then and felt we would take the game.
"The lads have let themselves down to many times, that's why I'm sat in the dug out, and they didn't do their job. It's not acceptable, but I'm not going to rant and rave about it. They know what we have done in the last three weeks, so we move on and build on the last few games."
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Soccer