Pools Youth Team earned the rewards for some hard work on the training ground as they celebrated a fantastic 1-0 win over second-placed Hull City on Saturday morning.
John Hewitson has been putting his young players through their paces with plenty of defensive work in recent weeks and it paid off with the second clean sheet of the campaign at the weekend.
Recent rain had made the pitch at Blackhall Colliery heavy but playable and it was Pools who adapted to those conditions the quickest and began the game with a real purpose.
Rhys Harbottle got in to space to feed the ball across the box for Ben Wignall but although his shot was on target it was well saved by the City keeper.
Wignall had an even better chance to open the scoring when Pools were awarded a penalty following a foul on Connor Smith, but again the keeper came to Hull’s rescue and parried the spot-kick to Smith whose effort on the rebound went wide.
The visitors’ only real chance of the first half arrived just before the break when they caught Pools on the counter-attack but keeper Mark Foden was alive to the situation and made the save.
Wignall came close again as Pools moved through the gears at the start of the second half and began to put City under some real pressure.
It paid off when Smith was again fouled – this time just outside the area – and when the ball in to the box was partially cleared it fell to the in-form Josh Nearney to convert and make it 1-0.
Moments later Pools came close to doubling their lead when Harbottle’s powerful shot slipped through the fingers of the Hull goalkeeper but he scrambled back to gather the ball before it crossed the line according to the officials.
City ended the game strongly though and bombarded Pools’ goal with a late onslaught, but the defence dealt well with the direct approach and held on to their slender advantage.
“It was a very good result and it was deserved given our performance,” said Hewitson.
“We defended much better than we have been and if we keep a clean sheet I always fancy us to create chances at the other end and score at least once.
“I’m pleased for the lads that the hard work we’ve been putting in has come to fruition on matchday – now we need to keep on building on that for the remainder of the season.”
Full Time: Pools 1 Hull City 0
Pools: Foden, Carr, Nearney, Nellis, Turner, Harbottle, Green, Wignall, Smith, Bridges (Wood 55), Armstrong.
Dawson, Briggs, Jewson, Turnbull.Subs not used: