Pools Youth Team sealed their place in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday evening with a dramatic 2-0 win over Carlisle United at Brunton Park.
After a tightly-fought contest on a cold night in Cumbria, Connor Simpson stabbed home a crucial opener five minutes from time before Liam Pritchard secured the victory in injury time.
The win means Pools continue their progress in the prestigious competition and set up a glamour tie against Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool at Victoria Park next month.
It was Carlisle who began the brighter in the game and enjoyed more possession in the opening stages but Pools’ Jon Weirs had the first chance of the night only to hit his shot straight at keeper Lee Ashton.
Pritchard also tested the Carlisle stopper with a fierce drive moments later which was tipped round the post before Simpson saw a header held by Ashton as Pools pressed for an opener.
The tall front man came even closer to finding the net just after half time when his swerving shot was tipped on to the bar by the increasingly-busy Ashton.
Cameron Holliday then fired a shot over the top after getting on the end of a well-worked move, while Jacob Owen saw his header graze the post on its way wide.
The hosts came close themselves when Belchior Papa struck an effort just wide but Pools always remained a threat, Pritchard almost scoring in fortuitous circumstances when Ashton palmed the ball on to his foot which looked to be bouncing in before the keeper recovered well to save it.
However, Ashton had no answer on 85 minutes when Simpson reacted first in a crowded penalty area to send the ball home from close range and give Pools a decisive edge in the tie.
The home side pressed forward looking for a leveller but Pritchard made the most of a defensive error to seal the victory at the death and secure Liverpool’s visit to The Vic.
Full Time: Carlisle United 0 Pools 2
Pools: Lawrence, Holliday, Cooper, Bayne (Jackson 78), Owen, Miller, Pritchard, Orrell, Simpson, Weirs, Boyle.
Subs not used: Stephenson, Robinson, Murphy, Webster.