Pools Reserves enjoyed a good win over Rotherham United in what proved to be an entertaining game despite windy conditions at Billingham Town on Wednesday.Goals from Josh Rowbotham and Luke James were enough to earn Pools the points from the Central League East clash, in which they were led by John Hewitson.
It was Pools who got on the front foot in the early exchanges with Lewis Hawkins seeing his shot saved and Luke James also trying his luck without success.
The Millers responded with long-range efforts from Kieran Agard and Daniel Rowe as the visitors came back in the game after a slow beginning.
Some wonderful skill from the excellent James almost saw Pools in front when he lifted the ball past two Rotherham players in midfield and burst towards the edge of the box only to drive a powerful effort wide.
Hewitson's men did snatch the lead on the half hour mark though after a lovely build-up saw the ball played out to Greg Rutherford on the right side of the box and his pinpoint delivery was headed home clinically by Rowbotham.
It was an advantage which Pools extended just after the break when James powered beyond the visitors defence and slotted a calm finish under keeper Tony Thompson to make it 2-0.
However, just a minute later The Millers were back in it when Agard found enough room twenty-five yards out to unleash an unstoppable drive in to the top right corner of the net.
Nathan Luscombe showed good control on a bobbly pitch to get within shooting distance but fired over, and at the other end Agard also hit his shot too high as both sides searched for the crucial next goal.
Luscombe's long-range free-kick was palmed away unconvincingly by Thompson only as far as Rutherford whose first time shot was held well by the recovering goalkeeper.
Rutherford - fresh from his first senior goal at Portsmouth on Saturday - then pinched the ball from the defender in the left corner and bore down on goal only to be well denied at the near post by Thompson.
But Rotherham hadn't given it up and their best chance came when Agard seized on a short back pass from Darren Holden to round McHugh but the angle was against him and his shot flew right across the goal and was cleared.
Pools had to defend strongly to ensure they held on to the three points and perhaps could have made things more comfortable had they taken their chances at the other end, but they can be pleased with a well-earned victory.
Full Time: Pools 2 Rotherham United 1
Pools: McHugh, Brown, Holden, Rowbotham, Buddle, Johnson, Boagey (Hope 54), Hawkins, Rutherford, Luscombe, James.
Tuck, Green, Walker, Scott.Subs not used: