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Cooper bemoans Rovers rally

Colin Cooper believes Luke James was denied a penalty and a chance at a hat-trick in Hartlepool's 2-2 draw with Bristol Rovers.

Last Updated: 21/09/13 at 19:54

Colin Cooper: Questions referee's decision

Colin Cooper: Questions referee's decision

Already with two goals to his credit, James raced clear of the Rovers defence and looked set to make it 3-1 when goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall dived to his left to parry his shot.

The striker was being chased by Rovers midfielder John-Joe O'Toole and Cooper was convinced there was contact from behind just as he was about to shoot.

"Luke was clipped and ended up striking the ball from an unnatural angle," said the manager. "In my eyes it was a clear penalty.

"I accept that it was a tough decision for the ref and I suppose if Luke had scored and he had pulled things back to award penalty we would have felt hard done by.

"But the challenge prevented Luke finishing as he might have done. He was outstanding and a hat-trick would have been just reward for his efforts.

"We have conceded a very late goal and it is a measure of how far we have come in recent weeks that my players are devastated not to have won the game."

O'Toole became even more of a villain as far as Pool were concerned when shooting a last-minute equaliser from a Lee Brown cross.

Matt Harrold had put Rovers in front with his first goal of the season on 35 minutes. The tall centre-forward, who missed a penalty in the previous game at Dagenham, controlled the ball on his chest before blasting a right-footed shot past Scott Flinders from just inside the box.

Before the cheers had died down, Hartlepool were level, James netting with a low right-footed shot from just outside the area with the home defence still celebrating.

On the stroke of half-time, man-of-the-match James netted again from closer range after Rovers had struggled to clear a Jonathan Franks cross.

Hartlepool had already hit a post through a Franks shot on 31 minutes and frustrated home supporters jeered their team off at the half time whistle.

But Rovers were far more purposeful at the start of the second period and came closest when Harrold deflected a shot from Eliot Richards onto the crossbar.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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Wenger hails important win

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
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