Pools Youth Team slipped to a 3-1 defeat at league-leaders Mansfield Town on Saturday.
With a very young line-up named, Pools were always going to be up against it when travelling to play a strong Mansfield side but they gave a good account of themselves despite the loss.
Pools enjoyed some joy in the early stages of the game when chances fell to Jordan Fielding, Liam Travers and Niall Short but they struggled to convert that dominance in to a goal.
However, with a little less than ten minutes of the first half remaining they got their rewards when Jon Weirs was fouled and Lewis Orrell brilliantly smashed home the resultant free-kick from twenty-five yards.
It was a lead Pools should have taken in to the break but just before the whistle Mansfield sprung forward against the run of play to snatch an equaliser.
Travers had a great chance to restore Pools’ advantage early in the second half when he was played through on goal by Joe Jackson but he fired his shot too high.
Ryan Robinson was introduced on 51 minutes for his first action after a long-term injury when he replaced Connor Simpson who had taken a knock to the head in an unsavoury challenge during the first half.
It looked as though the game was drifting towards a draw but Town stole the lead on 77 minutes and then made their victory safe with a third goal four minutes from time.
“I don’t think the scoreline fully reflected our performance,” insisted Hewitson afterwards.
“With better game management and a wiser approach to certain aspects it was a game we could have won but we don’t feel like we got enough protection from the officials either.
“It was great to see Josh Baine come on for his Youth Team debut and I was delighted for Ryan Robinson getting back on the pitch after his long lay-off with injury.”
Mansfield Town 3 Pools 1Full Time:
Catterick, Holliday, Cooper, Orrell, Fielding, Owen, Jackson, Weirs, Travers, Simpson, Short (Robinson 75)Pools:
Boyle, Moloney, Pritchard, Bayne. Subs Not Used: