Pools Youth Team face elimination from the Youth Alliance League Cup after tasting defeat at Oldham Athletic in their latest group game.
Ian McGuckin’s men knew they needed a win over The Latics to boost their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages after picking up just one point from their opening two outings.
However, after a fairly even start to the game, Pools fell behind on 18 minutes and then let another goal in immediately afterwards to give themselves a mountain to climb.
Brad Fox gave them hope when he pulled a goal back just before the half-hour mark after good work down the left-hand side and a great low drive in to the bottom corner.
And Pools levelled things up when the hosts failed to clear a corner and Jack Naylor reacted quickest the ram the ball home from close range.
Just before half-time Oldham restored their lead though when Pools were similarly hesitant in defending a corner and an opposition player got free to score at the back post.
The game was up on 70 minutes when the home side converted a fourth goal through a neat diving header before Harrison Webster fouled his man in the box and Oldham added a fifth from the spot.
“It was a frustrating result but we did change things around for the game so that’s got to be a factor,” admitted McGuckin afterwards.
“We have to all learn the lessons from the defeat and come back stronger in the games we have coming up.”
Full Time: Oldham Athletic 5 Pools 2
Pools: Young, Thompson, Webster, Naylor (Scott 60), Miller, Murphy, Willoughby, Rennison (Sturdy 80), Jackson (Pritchard 70), Boyle, Fox.
Subs not used: Roxburgh.