Pools Youth Team suffered a heart-breaking defeat at Chesterfield on Saturday as the hosts snatched a late winner despite being on the back foot for much of the contest.
Ian McGuckin’s young outfit included a number of Under 16 players given the hectic schedule over recent weeks but they still gave an excellent account of themselves in Derbyshire.
They were on the front foot from the early stages of the Youth Alliance League encounter and created numerous first half opportunities, the best falling to Jon Weirs and Josh Scott who both missed from close range.
Pools were made to pay for that four minutes before the break when an error from goalkeeper Alex Lawrence saw the Chesterfield striker intercept his clearance and fire home the opening goal of the game.
However, McGuckin’s youngsters rallied at the start of the second half and they got the reward their dominance deserved when the home side failed to deal with a corner and Josh Bayne reacted quickest to force the loose ball in to the net.
Pools then set about trying to find the winning goal and put together some excellent football as Chesterfield were once again pressed on to the back foot.
There was a huge let-off at the start of injury-time when a mix-up between Pools defender Brook Miller and keeper Lawrence provided a Spireites striker with an open goal but he somehow missed from five yards.
It looked as though the game would end all-square but with 94 minutes on the clock Pools were dispossessed on the edge of their own area and that allowed Chesterfield to gleefully ram home the decisive goal from twelve yards.
“The lads were all gutted after the game,” admitted McGuckin.
“We played some good football in passages, created chances and really built on our last performance against Oldham with a big improvement so overall I have got to be pleased with the players.
“The only negative was the mistakes we made which ended up costing us because, result aside, we played well and were the better team.
“When they scored the winner the Chesterfield coach walked to our dugout and apologised because he understood how dominant we had been in the game so that tells you everything.”
Full Time: Chesterfield 2 Pools 1
Pools: Lawrence, Murphy, Bayne, Miller, Holliday, Rennison, Naylor (Orrell 70), Weirs, Leonard (Robinson 75), Fox (Jackson 80), Scott.
Subs not used: Young.