A second half collapse saw Pools Youth Team thrashed 6-2 in the First Round of the Youth Alliance Cup at Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
John Hewitson’s youngsters were well in the game at 2-2 with little over half an hour remaining but a blast of goals in the final third of the game swung the tie dramatically in the hosts’ favour.
Pools had to put up with some heavy pressure in the early part of the game, before they took the lead against the run of play when Andy Bridges converted the rebound after seeing his initial shot parried.
At the other end, Under 16 keeper James Dawson was in fine form early on and produced a string of excellent saves to protect Pools’ slender lead.
However, shortly before half time The Latics got back on level terms when they scored from a corner, though Pools could have gone back in front before the whistle only for Bridges to waste a good opportunity.
Another corner proved Pools’ undoing at the start of the second half as Oldham took the lead but the response was good and Callam Wood slipped Bridges through on goal and his cross was deflected in to the net by a home defender.
Pools were starting to get on top but a lapse in concentration allowed the home side to break and they made it 3-2 and that quickly became 4-2 at Athletic again showed their prowess from set-pieces.
Further individual errors led to more punishment for Pools in the final half hour as they were caught out attempting to press forward in search of a route back in to the game.
“Having set a high standard in recent weeks, we just didn’t meet that on Saturday,” Hewitson admitted afterwards.
“I was very disappointed with the performance and the way we conceded the goals so all we can do is get back down to work in training and make sure we put it right in our next game.”
Full Time: Oldham Athletic 6 Pools 2
Pools: Dawson, Harbottle, Nearney, Nellis, Turner, Bridges, Wright (Briggs 75), Smith, Armstrong, Wood (Blackford 60), Wignall.
Skidmore, Male.Subs not used: