Marcus Dinanga was on the scoresheet for a Pools XI on Tuesday afternoon as they were beaten 4-1 in a private friendly against Middlesbrough at Rockliffe Park.
The on-loan front man fired Pools in front early on but the hosts – who handed Jordan Hugill his first appearance in a Boro shirt – responded well to earn victory in a competitive encounter.
Dinanga’s strike on 17 minutes came at a price for Boro who saw former Pools keeper Dimi Konstantopoulos pick up an injury which ended his involvement in the game.
Boro were level just after the half hour when Paddy McNair’s low cross was deflected in to the net before Hugill put them in front by slotting home the rebound after Ashley Fletcher’s effort was blocked on the line.
The hosts made changes during the half time interval but further goals from Tyrone O’Neill and Stephen Walker in the second half secured their victory.
Pools used the fixture as a chance to give game time to the likes of Paddy McLaughlin, Josh Hawkes, Lewis Hawkins and Louis Laing while a trialist also played in defence.
“It was good to get the game organised and give some minutes on the pitch to players,” said boss Matthew Bates, who led the side at Rockliffe.
“We’ve got a very competitive squad so the lads need to keep their match fitness ticking over so in that respect it was a very useful exercise.
“The game was competitive and we got plenty out of it so we’re thankful to Middlesbrough for providing the opposition.”
Full Time: Middlesbrough XI 4 Pools XI 1
Pools: Catterick, Miller, Trialist (Murphy 65), Laing, Richardson, Hawkins, Newton, McLaughlin (Fox 78), Hawkes, Dinanga, Cassidy (Scott 78).