Pools Youth Team came from behind with only ten men to defeat Rotherham United in the EFL Youth Alliance League Cup on Wednesday afternoon.
Joe Jackson was given his marching orders after just 11 minutes when the referee spotted some retaliation to a challenge and that left Pools up against it at Blackhall’s Welfare Park.
The visitors piled on the pressure in the aftermath of the red card and that paid off midway through the first half when a cross in to the box was nodded beyond keeper Brad Young to give Rotherham the lead.
However, Pools rallied and found a route back in to the game just before the break when Brad Fox sent Aaron Willoughby through on goal where was upended by the keeper in the box and Josh Scott tucked home the resultant penalty for 1-1.
After that, Pools frustrated their opponents with some dogged and determined defending at the start of the second half and gradually began to take control of the game.
They got their rewards for a gutsy display two minutes from time when Jack Leonard swung in a free-kick from the left and Luca Murphy got up highest to glance a header home and win the game for Pools.
“It was a really good performance from the lads given what happened so early in the game,” admitted McGuckin afterwards.
“They really dug in when they needed to and showed such character and determination it was difficult to deny they deserved the win.
“The attitude and endeavour from every one of them was brilliant – I couldn’t have asked any more of them across the two games, if I’m being honest.”
Full Time: Pools 2 Rotherham United 1
Pools: Young, Rennison, Webster, Naylor, Murphy, Jackson, Boyle, Fox, Leonard, Willoughby, Scott.
Sub not used: Thompson.