Pools Youth Team hit back to form with an outstanding win over previously unbeaten league-leaders Mansfield Town at Welfare Park in Blackhall on Saturday lunchtime.
The youngsters were going in to the game looking to put behind them their disappointing 6-2 defeat at Notts County last time out and it was evident from the first whistle they were determined to bounce back.
Some good football early on put the visitors on the back foot and a sweeping team move created the first opening for Connor Simpson at the far post but he narrowly missed the target.
Pools continued to dictate possession for the remainder of the first half with Town not allowed to get in to their stride or create anything in the attacking third.
The breakthrough almost arrived for Pools early in the second half when Josh Hawkes turned cleverly to feed Simpson through on goal but this time the keeper came to Mansfield’s rescue.
Ethan Wood, Jordan Fielding and Liam Travers all had further efforts on goal as Pools turned up the heat on their visitors but it looked as through time was running out on John Hewitson’s side.
However, Pools forced three corners right at the death and the third of them proved decisive as Hawkes picked out Travers and he powered a header past the keeper and in to the net to provoke wild celebrations.
“We had to be patient but it was a thoroughly deserved victory,” insisted Hewitson.
“We worked extremely hard in training in the build-up to the game and you could see the determination in every one of the lads to get the result.
“There were some outstanding performances across the team and now this is the standard we have to maintain in the coming games.”
Full Time: Pools 1 Mansfield Town 0
Pools: Moloney, Fielding, Cooper (Miller 56), Wood, Owen, Orrell, Richardson, Hawkes, Travers, Simpson (Boyle 62), Weirs.
Lawrence, Fell.Subs not used: