A late goal from Ethan Wood and a dramatic penalty save from Ben Dudzinski helped Pools Reserves in to the next round of the Durham County Challenge Cup at Tow Law Town on Tuesday.
Sam Collins’ side had gone in to a two-goal lead thanks to strikes from Nat Skidmore and Dylan Elliott, only for the Northern League Division Two outfit to peg them back to 2-2.
However, Wood stole in to score what proved to be the decisive goal late on when he converted after good play from Elliott and Kenton Richardson in the build-up.
There was still time for the hosts to get the chance to take the tie in to extra-time when the referee awarded a controversial penalty – but Pools keeper Dudzinski proved the hero, diving low to his left to save the effort and secure progress in to Round Two.
“We played really well in the first half and produced some good football on a pitch that wasn’t the best,” explained Collins afterwards.
“We scored a good goal in the first half then another just after the break but then they really put us under some pressure with some direct play, penned us in our own half and we struggled to get out.
“I think it was a good experience for us because a lot of the young lads will never have come up against that type of football before so they had to find out how to deal with it.
“We were probably quite fortunate in the end, if I’m honest, particularly when they had a penalty at the end which Ben saved well but we got through the game and I was really pleased with all of them.”
Full Time: Tow Law Town 2 Pools 3
Pools: Dudzinski, Richardson, Pollock, Fielding, Turnbull, Elliott, Green (65), Walker, Blackford (Hawkes 60), Skidmore, Oates.
Catterick, L Orrell, Simpson.Subs not used: