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League One

Cooper relieved after draw

23 September 2012

Neale Cooper expressed his relief after seeing his Hartlepool side rescue a much-needed 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury.

Trailing 2-1 with time ticking away, thanks to a Marvin Morgan brace after taking the lead through Jon Franks, Pools looked set for a second successive home loss. But in the 90th minute Andy Monkhouse volleyed in from 12 yards to earn a point.

"There was some good stuff from us, but we lost a couple of soft goals defensively," said Cooper. "It's been a difficult week after losing 5-0 [away at Preston]. You wonder what's happening. We have worked hard since then and got a reaction."

Pools took the lead when Franks latched onto Steve Howard's header to confidently volley in his second goal of the season. But the advantage only lasted 12 minutes, Morgan crashing in after a free-kick fell kindly for the striker.

After a swift 83rd-minute counter-attack from one penalty area to the other, Morgan broke away behind the back four to net what looked like a winner. But instead, Monkhouse got into space from another Howard header to volley in.

"There were a lot of positives out there from the players, and the pleasing thing is the character they showed at the end to level," added Cooper.

The Shrews looked set for a first away win in League One in Graham Turner's 100th game in charge of the club. They even had chances to win it after Monkhouse's leveller - goalkeeper Scott Flinders denying Morgan with a close-range block.

"We've dropped points from conceding late goals and it's a collective thing," reflected Turner. "We could have made it 3-1, with some very good chances and at the end we could have won it. But we can't concede like we are doing."

He added: "Marvin got two and worked tremendously hard. By working hard, he's a handful for any central defender.

"Players are a bit fragile with confidence and we have to maintain the believe we are a top-half League One side."


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