Pools Youth Team kept their Youth Alliance League title hopes alive with an impressive victory over leaders Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
Ian McGuckin’s side knew they needed a result on the road against Rovers in order to stay in the mix for silverware and they got it thanks to Coleby Shepherd’s dramatic late winner.
The winger pounced with just three minutes remaining to drive a shot through a crowded penalty area and in to the net to set off wild celebrations on the pitch and in the dugout.
The goal was nothing more than Pools had deserved given the nature of their display, during which they bossed the encounter and inflicted just a fifth league defeat of the campaign on their hosts.
McGuckin’s youngsters set the tone early on and dominated possession without really opening up the home side on too many occasions during the first half.
Shepherd had the best of the opportunities when he cut in dangerously from the flank and moved inside the area but his low shot was well parried by the keeper and Rovers cleared from the rebound.
The second half was similar in feeling, with Pools looking the more likely to break the deadlock but struggling to break down a resolute Rovers rearguard.
They came close to scoring ten minutes from time when Danny Boyle let fly from the edge of the area but his shot came back off the crossbar and it looked as though the points would be shared.
However, as the clock ticked over to 87 minutes, Ollie Thompson played another testing ball forward which the hosts failed to deal with and Shepherd responded quickest to tuck the ball home.
“It was a very good performance and an excellent result because Doncaster a good side,” McGuckin admitted afterwards.
“We started the game very well and put them on the back foot though and I don’t think you can really argue against the fact we deserved the three points.
“Everything just fell in to place for the lads. I am their biggest critic at times but they played extremely well on Saturday, every single one of them.
“They were good with the ball, aggressive without it, they made good decisions all the pitch – it was just a strong all-round performance.”
The win sees Pools stay fourth in the North East Division table but they are now just one point off top spot though some of their rivals do still have games in hand.
Full Time: Doncaster Rovers 0 Pools 1
Pools: Young, Pritchard, Thompson, Miller, Webster, Boyle, Naylor, Leonard, Shepherd, Fox, Best.
Subs: Roxburgh, Pilling, Willoughby, Rennison, Chapman.