Pools Youth Team twice came from behind to beat Doncaster Rovers and move second in the table after a thrilling rain-soaked encounter at Blackhall’s Welfare Park on Saturday.
Ian McGuckin’s youngsters had to show huge character to recover from trailing twice during a roller-coaster affair before snatching a dramatic winner ten minutes from time to leap-frog their visitors in the Youth Alliance League North East Division.
It was Rovers who were out of the traps quickest on Saturday and they moved in front inside ten minutes when Pools failed to fully-clear a corner and Jack Watson took advantage to convert from close range.
There were chances at both ends during an entertaining opening period which really came to life in the final minute when Pools were awarded a penalty for a foul on Josh Scott – the front man picked himself up to score from the spot and level things up.
However, there was still time left in the half for Doncaster to attack once more and win a penalty of their own when Jack Naylor’s tackle was called as a foul and Rieves Boocock fired home from twelve yards.
The second half started in similarly open fashion and there were more opportunities for both sides in rapidly deteriorating conditions in Blackhall.
On 65 minutes Pools got themselves back on level terms once more when the ball was lifted towards the back post and Jack Leonard volleyed in to make it 2-2.
It looked as though the spoils would be shared but then, ten minutes from time, Coleby Shepherd strode forward with the ball before finishing neatly in to the bottom right-hand corner of the net to win it for Pools with his first goal for the Club.
“It was great character from the lads,” admitted McGuckin.
“Their attitude and desire can’t be faulted and, even though we conceded two goals, I was proud of the way they played because they gave absolutely everything.
“In the end I thought we deserved to win and it was probably the most enjoyable game I have been involved in this season.
“Doncaster more than played their part – they’re a very good side and to get the win we had to work very hard and dig deep.
“We dealt well with the challenge physically, we tackled and we fought, but we also showed that little bit of quality we needed to get the three points.”
Full Time: Pools 3 Doncaster Rovers 2
Pools: Young, Rennison, Webster, Boyle, Naylor, Murphy, Shepherd, Fox, Scott, Leonard, Willoughby (Chapman 80).
Subs not used: Roxburgh, Miller, Sturdy, Thompson.