Pools Reserves recovered from their disappointing defeat to Consett last week with an emphatic 5-2 Final Third Development League Cup win over Scunthorpe United on Wednesday night.
Craig Hignett had asked for a reaction from his squad of young players and they more than provided it with a scintillating performance which could even have been rewarded with a more handsome margin of victory.
Pools showed their intent early on when Darren Holden’s looping cross almost caught out the keeper at his far post as the hosts were rocked on to the back foot.
From a left-wing corner, trialist Jordan Deacey found enough space on the left corner of the box to drop a shoulder, drive inside and fire an unstoppable low shot through the crowd and in to the far bottom corner to make it 1-0.
It could have been two moments later when the ball dropped loose for Greg Rutherford twelve yards out but his well-struck drive flew just wide of the post.
Holden then embarked on a determined run which saw him wriggle his way through the Scunthorpe defence but when he reached the penalty area he hit a rising shot just over the bar under pressure.
Lewis Hawkins came close when his shot took a deflection and looped menacingly towards the far post only for the visitors to scramble the ball clear.
Then, against the run of play, Scunthorpe caught Pools clinically on the break when Connor Purdue sprinted clear through the middle and produced a calm finish past Mark Foden to level the scores.
Zak Boagey almost found an eye-catching way to restore Pools’ advantage when he skilfully darted in from the left corner flag and tested James Severn with a stringing drive which the keeper beat away.
Pools did get their noses back in front soon after the break though when a left-wing free-kick was met by Sam Collins and his header fell loose for full-back Josh Nearney to prod in from close range.
However, with little less than an hour on the clock the visitors came back again and levelled the scores when Pools failed to clear a corner and Jacob Hood smashed home from just inside the box.
Nearney obviously had the taste for goals now though and the defender strode forward in determined fashion and unleashed a powerful shot which was parried by the keeper before Ben Wignall headed the rebound on to the roof of the net.
Pools did take the lead for a third time twenty minutes in to the second half when some tenacious play by Wignall on the edge of the box helped set-up Connor Smith who drilled an unstoppable finish in to the near top corner from just inside the area.
The goal of the night arrived from Wignall himself five minutes later though when he brilliantly turned away from trouble on the edge of the box to drill a low shot under the left of Severn to make it 4-2.
Hawkins did brilliantly to set up what should have been a fifth goal for Pools when he intercepted possession and stormed in to the box before squaring for Harbottle whose shot was blocked.
Just seconds later though and Harbottle was celebrating, this time making no mistake after getting on the end of Smith’s inviting low cross to slot home at the far post for 5-2.
While he had been employed very little during a dominant second half showing, keeper Mark Foden had to be on his toes late on to deny Hood and Howe with a pair of smart saves.
As the clock ticked down, the young shot-stopped also did very well to tip over Jamie Wooton’s effort from the edge of the area as Scunthorpe looked to reduce the arrears.
There was no way back for the young visitors though and Pools secured their third victory of the season over Scunthorpe at Reserve level.
Full Time: Pools 5 Scunthorpe United 2
Pools: Foden, Nearney, Rowbotham, Collins, Holden, Smith, Hawkins, Deacey (Bridges 80), Boagey, Wignall (Green 80), Rutherford (Harbottle 32).
Turner, Nellis.Subs not used: