Pools Reserves returned to form with a dominant performance against Chesterfield to run out 5-0 winners at Billingham Town on Tuesday afternoon.
After three straight defeats, Sam Collins was after a reaction from his young side – and they delivered with a powerful display that could have been rewarded by even more goals.
It was an open start to the game and there were chances as both ends during a frantic first few minutes; Dylan Elliott had the best of them for Pools but saw his shot deflected over the bar.
The game was only seven minutes old when Sam Collins’ men broke the deadlock and it was a goal brilliantly created and finished-off by Connor Smith. The winger drove at the visiting defence before playing a neat one-two with Australian trialist Adrian Vranic and then rolling the ball into the corner.
Ryan Catterick had to remain alert at the other end as The Spireites responded with a dangerous attack down the left but when the Pools keeper blocked the first shot with his feet, the follow-up was scuffed wide of the target.
Pools suffered a set-back on the quarter-hour mark when Kieran Green went down in pain on the halfway line and unfortunately the midfielder was stretchered off with an injury to his right leg.
There was half an hour gone when Pools doubled their advantage; Brad Walker drove forward from midfield before allowing Vranic to take over on the edge of the box and the front man provided a near finish in to the bottom corner for 2-0.
It could even have been 3-0 on the stroke of half time when Jack Blackford led a swift counter-attack after Pools cleared a corner but the dangerous delivery from trialist full-back Jamie Mascoll was just about cleared at the front post as the visitors survived.
Pools made most of the running during the second half too and could have extended their lead when Smith ran in behind on to Blackford’s excellent through ball but his low delivery evaded everyone in the middle and went wide of the far post.
Blackford then had a chance of his won when he got in to the area on to the end of Mascoll’s floated cross from the left but he couldn’t get the power on his header to trouble the keeper.
However, the third goal did arrive just before the hour-mark when trialist Matt Young slipped a ball inside for Walker who brilliantly ghosted past two defenders in to the area before calmly rounding the keeper to score.
Elliott floated a ball in to the box from the right towards substitute Liam Travers but the Chesterfield defender did enough to put the forward off and he headed his effort wide of the target.
Catterick was called in to action a couple of times in the final ten minutes as the visitors sought some consolation but the Pools keeper handled a free-kick well before blocking another good chance with his feet to protect his clean sheet.
And with six minutes remaining it was Pools who added to the scoring when Josh Hawkes slipped fellow substitute Liam Travers through with a brilliantly-weighted pass and the front man did the rest with a low finish in to the bottom corner.
Blackford underlined The Spireites misery with a fifth goal right at the death, finding the bottom corner with what proved to be the last kick of the game.
Full Time: Pools 5 Chesterfield 0
Catterick, Young (Richardson 60), Wise, Pollock, Mascoll (Turnbull 77), Smith (Hawkes 71), Green (Wood 16), Walker, Blackford, Vranic (Travers 60), Elliott.Pools: