Luke James played 45 minutes as Pools Reserves ran out 3-2 winners at Mansfield Town on Tuesday afternoon.
It was an open League Cup game in which both sides created plenty of chances, though it was Pools who got on to the front foot early on with the dangerous James Poole firing off two good efforts - one saved by the keeper and one just over the bar.
Charlie Wyke then got through on goal and brought another good save from the home side's keeper before Poole back-heeled the rebound towards goal only to see it cleared off the line.
Pools opened the scoring when a lovely passing move freed Darren Holden on the left and his cross was powerfully met by the onrushing Jack Baldwin who made it 1-0.
Mark Foden made two smart saves to protect Pools' lead before James curled an effort just over the bar as the game continued to produce chances.
Pools survived a scare early in the second half when Josh Rowbotham was forced to clear from the line, before Greg Rutherford had a powerful shot pushed over the bar.
Micky Barron's men increased their advantage when Brad Walker's shot hit the post and rebounded in to the net off the back of the unlucky Stage keeper.
Wyke had a shot cleared off the line before Mansfield pulled one back from the penalty spot after Paul Johnson had been adjudged to have fouled his man.
However, Pools quickly restored the two-goal lead when Poole showed brilliant skill to find space and unleash a great shot which hit the post and fell loose to substitutes Rhys Harbottle to score.
Town gave themselves a chance of a comeback late on when they pulled another goal back but it was too little too late and Pools held on for the win.
"It was a pleasing performance - we moved the ball well and got in to some great positions," Barron told us afterwards.
"It was great to see Luke James back and he was bright on the ball - he didn't really want to come off at half time but giving him forty-five minutes was always the plan so early in his comeback.
"James Poole was absolutely outstanding and got in to some really dangerous positions, as well as linking well with Jack Baldwin who did well in midfield."
Full Time: Mansfield Town 2 Pools 3
Pools: Foden, Rowbotham, Johnson, Buddle, Holden, Rutherford, Walker (Mitchinson 80), Baldwin, Poole, Wyke, James (Harbottle 45).
Subs not used: Turner, Hedley, Nearney.