IT’S been a while since Luke James’ beaming smile after scoring has lit up Victoria Park.

The gap between goal numbers ten and eleven of the season has been nine games.

It’s too long for the 19-yearold.

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So the relief – and joy – was clear when his sweetly struck volley put Hartlepool United on their way to victory over York City.

“The gaffer said we had to get in front, but as the game goes on its about keeping in the game,’’ he reflected.

“When a chance comes, take it. I hit it sweetly and it’s about time I scored – nine games now, not that I’m counting!

“It’s a relief and nice to get the win on top of it. I thank Jack (Baldwin) for a great knock down to set me up perfectly.

“There was a lot of relief there when I scored. I spoke to the gaffer and Higgy and they told me just to carry on doing what I’ve been doing. Every striker has a dry run and it’s about how you come through it.

“I ran to the bench and wanted say thank you to them for keeping me in the team.

I’ve not been scoring and that’s my job, it’s what I’m supposed to do. It’s not happened for the last nine games, but I’ve tried to work hard and the goal came this time.’’ And, while James’ scoring heroics were upstaged by Jack Barmby minutes later, he didn’t mind one bit “Jack’s goal was superb,’’ he said. “He did similar in training on Friday and just whipped a shot in the top bin.

“Everyone was ‘oh, my God’ and to do it again.... As soon as he hit it, I knew it was in.

“It was a great feeling for everyone. One goal is good, two makes it safe.

“I scored early in my career, but not like that. He will be delighted with his contribution to the game.

“Tuesday’s game at Wimbledon will be a tough one, but we feel we can get a result against any team in the league.”