Josh Scott and Jack Naylor scored the goals as Pools Youth Team pushed themselves back in to title contention on Saturday afternoon with a brilliant win at Chesterfield.
Ian McGuckin’s side had fallen off the pace a little following last weekend’s defeat to rivals Mansfield Town but they reacted superbly to collect a crucial three points in Derbyshire.
With wind, rain and a tricky playing surface making things difficult for both sides, Pools got off to the perfect start when Oliver Thompson’s ball sent Scott through on goal and he finished well to make it 1-0 with just seven minutes gone.
Some determined defending was needed to protect that lead as the hosts responded positively; Brad Young made a couple of excellent saves while Liam Pritchard also blocked a goalbound shot to keep The Spireites at bay.
Pools capitalised on that good work at the back when they extended their lead just before the half-hour mark as Conner Rennison’s left-wing free-kick was met by Thompson and, when his header was touched on to the bar by the keeper, Naylor was there to force home the rebound.
McGuckin’s youngsters then controlled the encounter quite well during the second half and could even have added a third goal when substitute Aaron Willoughby had a chance late on but he was denied by good goalkeeping.
“It was a really hard-working performance from the boys,” McGuckin told us.
“The conditions were definitely a test for both sets of players but we battled hard and I thought we thoroughly deserved the three points.
“We played as much football as the weather and pitch would allow us to and got a very good result so all we can keep going is winning games and see where it takes us.”
Pools' victory takes them back within five points of leaders Grimsby Town who suffered a suprise defeat against Burton Albion on Saturday.
Full Time: Chesterfield 0 Pools 2
Pools: Young, Pritchard, Thompson, Miller, Naylor, Boyle, Leonard (Willoughby 75), Rennison, Shepherd (Chapman 83), Scott, Fox.
Subs not used: Roxburgh, Webster.