Tom Heardman and Brad Walker were both on the scoresheet as Pools Reserves kicked-off their Central League campaign with victory over York City on Tuesday afternoon.
After a series of behind-closed-doors friendlies, Sam Collins’ men approached the fresh season with optimism and got three points on the board thanks to a 2-1 triumph over The Minstermen.
However, they were forced to work hard for the win in a tightly-contested affair at Billingham Town which could have gone either way.
Pools were let off the hook in the opening stages when City midfielder Tyler Walton saw his header come back off the post with keeper Ryan Catterick beaten.
At the other end Jake Orrell could have opened the scoring after engineering a chance for himself but fired in to the side-netting, while Connor Smith’s driving run ended when his cross deflected wide off Heardman.
On 25 minutes Pools did strike first blood though when Walker’s corner picked out young midfield man Kieran Green and his flick-on was diverted in to the net by loan man Heardman.
Callum Rzonca drilled a shot just wide for City before Walker came close to doubling Pools lead just before half-time with a well-struck effort which was just off-target.
The visitors started strongly in the second half and were on level terms almost immediately as Justin Johnson got to the byline to deliver a low cross in to the box which was tucked away by Flynn McNaughton.
Brad Fewster – selected up front alongside Heardman – almost found the net when he got space to get in a shot but saw the effort fly agonisingly wide of the post.
City came even closer to going in front for the first time moments later when Johnson got a shot off which came back off the post as Pools rode their luck.
And it proved a key moment because with a little less than a quarter of an hour remaining, Walker clipped a free-kick over the wall which sneaked past the keeper to make it 2-1 to Pools.
Smith had a late opportunity to wrap up the points but his shot was well saved by Luke Simpson but City couldn’t find a way back and Pools hung on for the win.
Full Time: Pools 2 York City 1
Pools: Catterick, Nearney, Martin, Green, Pollock, Assenso (Richardson 75), Smith, Walker, Heardman (Blackford 58), Fewster (Elliott 58), Orrell.
Moloney, Hawkes.Subs not used: