Pools Youth Team made it through to the final round of qualifying in the FA Youth Cup with a comfortable 5-1 win over Hebburn Town at The Super 6 Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was a relatively straightforward victory for Ian McGuckin’s side and the result could have been even more handsome had they been more ruthless in front of goal.
Pools got on the front foot from the first whistle and began to attack their hosts in search of an early goal and a platform to build upon.
That breakthrough duly arrived on eight minutes when Aaron Willoughby timed his run down the right to perfection and latched on to a through ball before squaring to Liam Pritchard for a tap-in.
McGuckin’s youngsters continued to dominate and they created a handful of half chances as the visitors were forced to work hard to protect their goal.
However, it was 2-0 on 25 minutes when Willoughby’s cross from the right was cleared only as far as Conner Rennison ten yards out and he drilled a low show past the keeper to double Pools’ lead.
It could have been 3-0 two minutes later when Jack Naylor got forward well from full-back but his powerful striker was parried by keeper Aidan Mutch and Pools couldn’t force the ball home in the melee that followed.
Harrison Webster tested the keeper after charging through on to keeper Brad Young’s long ball forward before Josh Scott came close on two occasions with headers.
Keeper Mutch had to go full-stretch to deny Willoughby right on the stroke of half-time after the Pools winger cut inside from the right and let fly with a curling effort with his left foot.
The second half began in the same manner and Pools almost added a third within two minutes of the restart when Rennison found space to let fly with a curling effort from twenty yards which came back off the cross bar.
Mutch was busy again on 56 minutes when he denied Willoughby and Scott before then also parrying from Luca Murphy’s free-kick and blocking Brook Miller’s follow-up.
The third goal did arrive on 63 minutes when Naylor struck a shot against the cross bar from close range before Miller’s effort on the rebound was turned in by Willoughby.
Pools then added a quickfire fourth on 66 minutes when Brad Fox slipped a ball through for Naylor and he laid it across for Josh Scott who slid it home from close range.
Hebburn pulled a goal back a couple of minutes later though when substitute Jack Brodman left Young with no chance as he dispatched a wonderful twenty-yard free-kick in to the top left-hand corner of the net.
Pools grabbed a fifth goal eight minutes from time when Rennison skilfully wriggled his way in to the area before passing to Daniel Boyle and his powerful low strike flew in to the net off the inside of the left-hand post.
Fox came within a whisker of scoring the goal in the game right at the death when he fired a brilliant effort over the top of the keeper from just outside the area but it came back off the bar and Hebburn escaped further punishment.
Full Time: Pools 5 Hebburn Town 1
Pools: Young, Naylor, Webster, Boyle, Miller, Murphy (Thompson 65), Willoughby (Leonard 63), Rennison, Scott, Fox, Pritchard (Jackson 63).
Subs not used: Roxburgh.
Hebburn Town: Mutch, Atkinson, Dixon, Walsh, Thompson, Robertson, Carter (Stephenson 51), Camm (Brodman 60), Bowie, Donaghy (Moyse-Mukhtar 29), Ellison.
Subs not used: Taylor, Scott.