Pools Youth Team lost out 2-1 at home to York City in a scrappy affair at the weekend.
With the game played out at a frantic pace, John Hewitson's side found themselves pressed into decisions and unable to play their own game.
And the blustering approach from the visitors gave them a first-half lead as they capitalised on a corner kick to make it 1-0.
Pools went close to equalising just before the break when Tom Mitchinson found himself free on the edge of the area but his shot hit the inside of the post and the ball rebounded into the arms of the keeper.
Hewitson's side upped their intensity after the break and got their reward as a Kerry Hedley cross was headed home by Lewis Green.
The goal gave Pools a real boost and they dominated for much of the second half, with chance after chance to take the lead.
But with Pools failing to take their chances, York City re-took the lead, again from a corner and the game finished 2-1.
"We played well in the second half," Hewitson told hartlepoolunited.co.uk.
"But we need to learn to play against the more direct opposition and stick to playing to our own strengths in a game."
Foden, Brown, Nearney, Tuck, Turner, Hedley, Harbottle (K Green 75), L Green, Jones (Smith 55), Halpin (Wignall 55), Mitchinson
Pools: Nellis, WoodSubs Not Used: