Pools Reserves were held to a 1-1 draw by Mansfield Town in the Central League at Victoria Park on Thursday afternoon.
It looked as though Ian McGuckin’s young side were on course for all three points when Jon Weirs nodded them in front on the hour but The Stags grabbed a leveller eleven minutes from time to secure a share of the spoils.
The Pools line-up was made up of mainly young players, along with three trialists, while Aaron Cunningham played the majority of the game as he continues to build fitness.
A tight first half comprised of few chances with Mansfield keeper Keaton Marrs making a smart save from a Joe Jackson header and Alistair Smith nodding just over for the visitors at the other end.
Pools got their noses in front on 60 minutes when cross from the left found Weirs in the area and his header bounced across the line and in to the net to make it 1-0.
Town responded with a dangerous move down the right of the penalty area but substitute Iyrwah Gooden saw his low drive blocked by Ryan Catterick’s feet.
The visiting side continued to press though and got their rewards on 79 minutes when Pools struggled to clear a delivery in from the right and skipper Lewis Gibbens headed Mansfield level from close range.
After that it was The Stags who looked the more likely to find a winner; Rhys Sarson drove a dangerous low ball across the area which evaded everyone before Aiden Walker headed wide at the far post after an excellent cross in from the left.
“It was a fair result all in all because it was a pretty even game,” McGuckin told us afterwards.
“I thought we edged the first half without really finding the cutting edge but there wasn’t much in the game and it was a good test for the lads.
“I don’t think either keeper was tested a lot but we did score a good goal, breaking forward well and it was an excellent finish from Jon Weirs.
“We disappointed not to hang on for the win but we did get put under lot of pressure and had defended very well up until conceding the equaliser so it’s frustrating not to see it out.”
Full Time: Pools 1 Mansfield Town 1
Pools: Catterick, Heggarty, Owen, Ellsdon, Cooper, Robinson, Cunningham (Boyle 87), Ward, Jackson (Bayne 67), Orrell, Weirs.
Subs not used: Lawrence, Holliday.