Liam Pritchard scored a wonder-goal as Pools Youth Team won at Carlisle United on Saturday to maintain their perfect start to the group stage of the League Cup.
Ian McGuckin’s men had already beaten York City in their opening game of the competition and collected another three points at the weekend thanks to Pritchard’s stunner seven minutes from time.
There was a frantic pace to the action during the opening exchanges with the Cumbrians starting the better and putting Pools under some severe pressure in the first ten minutes.
Pools managed to ride the storm with some determined defending and good goalkeeping, and they started to enjoy more possession as the half wore on, though they couldn’t break through a resilient Carlisle defence to create any clear-cut scoring chances.
The game opened up a little after the break with Pools earning plenty of time on the ball and they could have been a goal up when Josh Bayne’s incisive diagonal ball set Jon Weirs through on goal but the Carlisle keeper made a fantastic save to keep his shot out.
With time running out, it looked as though the points would be shared but then came a moment of magic from Pritchard, his goal worthy of winning any game.
The youngster collected the ball on the halfway line and surged forward down the left, skipping past a defender and driving in to the box before curling a superb shot across the keeper and right in to the top corner.
“It was a fantastic individual goal,” enthused McGuckin afterwards.
“We’re really pleased for Liam because he worked so hard during the game and deserved his goal, it was a special effort too.
“The lads deserved the win because it was a dogged display. It’s difficult to pick any one individual out because it was a real team effort and they all played their part.
“We’ve got two wins from two to move top of our League Cup group and it’s important we take that form back in to our upcoming league games now.”
Full Time: Carlisle United 0 Pools 1
Pools: Lawrence, Holliday, Cooper, Bayne (Robinson 80), Miller, Owen, Pritchard, Orrell, Jackson, Boyle, Weirs.
Subs not used: Stephenson, Rennison, Webster, Murphy.