Pools’ battling FA Youth Cup campaign was brought to an end by a clinical Liverpool outfit who ran out 5-1 winners at a busy Victoria Park on Wednesday night.
Almost 1,000 fans turned up to see if Ian McGuckin’s men could produce a Round Three shock but it never really looked likely despite a performance full of grit and determination from Pools.
It took Liverpool less than two minutes to make the breakthrough as their first meaningful attack saw Liam Millar get in behind the Pools defence and he slipped an incisive finish past Alex Lawrence.
However, Pools didn’t let the early setback affect them and they were back on level terms on six minutes when a flighted cross from the right was nodded back across goal by Connor Simpson and Jacob Owen did really well to force it home from a tight angle for 1-1.
The hectic start to the game continued two minutes later though when the Anfield outfit went back in front; Millar finding the net again with a low finish after turning in to space inside the area.
Pools responded with a great move down the right as Cameron Holliday fed Liam Pritchard who cleverly spun inside to deliver a cross for Daniel Boyle but his shot was blocked wide and Connor Simpson headed the resultant corner over the bar.
Liverpool showed their teeth again when the dangerous Millar skilfully turned infield from the left and sent a low ball out to Glen McAuley but his shot fizzed in to the side netting and Pools escaped.
The visitors increased their lead eight minutes before half time when McAuley scampered clear of the Pools defence and produced a tidy finish under Lawrence to make it 3-1.
Liverpool almost opened up a three-goal gap early in the second half when impressive right-back Yasser Larouci wriggled right through the Pools defence but saw his shot well saved by Lawrence to prevent what would have been a wonderful solo goal.
Millar almost got his hat-trick in spectacular fashion when he produced some brilliant skill to find space in the area but his shot was blocked and Pools were able to get the ball clear.
However, the front man wasn’t to be denied his treble; on 72 minutes a pass split the Pools defence and Millar scampered on to it before applying another clinical low finish to make it 4-1.
Millar made way moments later but the punishment for Pools didn’t stop; Curtis Jones weaved his way in to the box from the left before drilling a shot back across Lawrence and in to the right side of the net.
Full Time: Pools 1 Liverpool 5
Pools: Lawrence, Holliday, Cooper, Bayne, Owen, Miller, Pritchard (Short 75), Orrell, Simpson, Weirs (Robinson 75), Boyle (Jackson 64).
Subs not used: Stephenson, Murphy.
Booked: Boyle, Pritchard.
Liverpool: Jaros, Larouci, Boyes (Raitenen 69), Williams, Glennon, Clayton, Tagseth, Dixon-Bonner, Millar (Simmonds 75), Jones, McAuley (Longstaff 58).
Subs not used: Sharif, Atherton.