Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Humphreys Ready to Fill the Void in Attack

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Humphreys Ready to Fill the Void in Attack

Article excerpt

RITCHIE Humphreys looks set for an extended run in the Hartlepool United forward line after a scoring return on Saturday.

The club captain netted his first goal since a loss at Tranmere in March 2008 as he reverted to the striker's role he first played when he moved to the club in 2001.

His first-half strike put Pools level at 1-1, and despite taking a 2-1 lead, they succumbed to two second-half finishes from Exeter striker John O'Flynn to steal the points in a game Pools dominated for long periods.

"I was pleased to score, and I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but no-one enjoys losing," said Humphreys after his second start of the season. "It's been a while since I played up front. It was my position as a young player, the position I came here in when I first signed.

"I've played in various positions for the club and I enjoyed playing there, it's something different. We've been looking at it in training and I enjoy being in the team and doing my best for the team, but it's disappointing not to get anything."

Caretaker boss Mick Wadsworth said: "Ritchie did well until he ran out of steam, we need someone to hold the ball up for us and I remember him as a young player who could do that well and he will get better with it by the game. He did it very well and gave a good finish. Putting Ritchie up front is something I've thought about a long time."

He is likely to stay there for the weekend trip to Brentford. By then Pools will have had a week on the training ground to rectify the problems which caused this loss.

Pools were slack defensively and switched off, allowing the visitors to score three times. Denis Behan, on as a substitute, headed against a post as they searched for a leveller.

Ryan Harley scored an individual effort for the opening goal to put the visitors in front, before Humphreys and Antony Sweeney turned the score in Pools' favour. …

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