Pools' FA Youth Cup run came to an end at the Second Round
stage on Friday night as they were beaten 3-2 by South Shields in an
Ian McGuckin's men were hoping to progress and set-up a
meeting with Fulham in Round Three but it will be Shields who make the trip toCraven Cottage after the ran out 3-1 winners on home soil.
The hosts made an aggressive start and attempted to take the
game to Pools in the early stages but it almost cost them when McGuckin's side
sprung dangerously on the counter-attack and were only denied by a last-gaspsliding tackle.
Aaron Willoughby was first to try his luck when he was found
by a raking cross-field pass from Jack Leonard but when the wide man cut insidefrom the left he could only hit a shot over the bar.
Brad Young then had to be alert at the other end when Joao
Gomes let fly from twenty yards and his shot looped up off a defender beforethe Pools keeper stretched to tip it over the bar.
With 18 minutes on the clock, the home side went in front.
Pools sat off as Shields came forward and that allowed them to slip a ball
through for Sam Hodgson who made no mistake with a neat finish past theadvancing Young to make it 1-0.
There was a great chance for Joe Grey to level just before the
half-hour mark when Coleby Shepherd slung a wonderful ball in to the area fromthe right but front man Grey's volley dropped on to the roof of the net.
Grey atoned for that miss moments later though when another
clinical counter-attack saw the ball fed in to his feet on the left. He took a
touch to steady himself before unleashing a curling, dipping effort which flewover the keeper and in off the post to level things up.
However, parity didn't last long. Gomes stormed in to the
box and had his run halted by a late tackle and the referee pointed to the penalty
spot. Hodgson did the rest with a vicious conversion in to the top left cornerto give Young no chance and put Shields 2-1 up on 33 minutes.
Pools came again and could have been level almost instantly
when Grey chased down the keeper and blocked his attempted clearance. The in-form
front man was first to the loose ball but the Shields keeper recovered well tomake a fine save down low to his left and protect the hosts' lead.
Harrison Webster then wandered forward from full-back
towards the edge of the box and let fly with a powerful drive which took a nickoff a defender on its way in to the side-netting.
There was a big opportunity for Pools to score just before
half-time when Webster got in to space on the left and lifted a cross to theback post but Jay Gibson nodded an effort over the bar.
Jack Leonard almost brought Pools level at the start of the
second half when he picked the pocket of a defender but then his attempted chipwas clawed away by the keeper.
Young was then tested immediately at the other end and had
to make a strong save at his front post before the resultant corner was headedover the bar.
Gibson fired a volley just wide from the edge of the area
and then Willoughby saw an effort saved by the keeper as Pools pressed theiropponents back on the search for an equaliser.
The game began to get a little nervy towards the midway
point of the second half but Shields could have increased their lead with aheader at the far post which kissed the bar on its way over.
South Shields had their keeper to thank for being in front
when Pools worked a lovely corner from the right and when it was lifted in to
the box it was blocked away by the keeper who then held the follow-up headerfrom substitute Luke Chapman on his line.
It proved a crucial moment because it was 3-1 on 83 minutes.
A corner was swung in from the left and centre-back Ben Errington got therefirst to flick the ball on and in to the far corner of the net.
There was some hope for Pools two minutes from time when
Leonard unleashed a thunderbolt in to the top corner of the net to cue a frenziedfinale under the lights.
However, there wasn't enough time to engineer another chance
and it was the home side who clinched their place in Round Three and that tripto the capital.
Full Time: South Shields 3 Pools 1
Pools: Young, Wilson (Chapman 71), Thompson, Pilling (Sturdy 83), Webster, Campbell, Gibson, Willoughby, Shepherd, Leonard, Grey.
Subs not used: Lowerson, Naisbett, James.
Booked: Leonard (68).