Pools Women’s Team progressed to the next round of the League Cup on Sunday but they made hard work of their 1-0 win over Wallsend at Dyke House.
Caitlin Bates struck the only goal of the game midway through the first half but Craig Devon’s outfit struggled to kill off their determined and resilient visitors.
Following the battling 4-3 win over South Shields last time out, Pools lined up in an attacking formation with Lottie Portas, Jade Pye and Justine Robinson all tucked in behind striker Bates.
They began the game on the front foot and knocked the ball around well, though the artificial surface made it tricky to measure their final ball at times.
Pools felt hard done by when the referee waved away two big calls for penalties as the Wallsend defence came under some severe pressure in the opening stages.
The dominance paid off on 25 minutes when Bates returned to scoring ways with a well-taken goal to boost her confidence and give Pools the lead.
Chances kept on coming but a couple of efforts went just the wrong side of the woodwork and Pools were frustrated to take just a single-goal advantage in to the break.
Wallsend altered things at half-time and got themselves a foothold back in the game at the start of the second half, making it more difficult for Pools to get in to their stride again.
However, Devon's side remained strong and determined at the back and didn’t allow their visitors to create much in the way of opportunities to equalise and the game finished 1-0.
“It was a frustrating day which could have been different had we not had two blatant penalties waved away in the first half,” said Devon afterwards.
“Wallsend were well-drilled and resilient so it’s a positive that we won the game but we have to better all-round moving forward.
“We can now concentrate on a return to league action and hopefully show the Hartlepool team we have grown in to.”
Full Time: Pools 1 Wallsend 0
Pools: Campbell, Bartlett, Carter (Stabler 75), Duffy-Smith, Stuart, Rowbotham, Lambert (Hampson 70), Portas (Smith 50), Robinson, Pye, Bates (Hammond-Garrington 70).
Tune-in to BBC Tees from 7pm on Tuesday night to hear Caitlin Bates live in the studio discussing the Women's Team's season so far.