HARTLEPOOL United’s first game in the Papa John’s Trophy this season was a six goal thriller at Brunton Park with the game eventually decided by Carlisle United via a penalty shootout.
The game was a back and forth affair and didn’t smack of an awkwardly timed game that was held just hours before the closure of the transfer window.
Both sides had lively starts and chances in the opening exchanges of the game. While Carlisle United had crosses into the box that provided danger, Daly was providing plenty of danger with late runs into the box and had a chance blocked by the keeper from a Reagan Ogle cross.
However, moments later Carlisle would take the lead after a delicious corner found the head of Taylor Charters who headed home from close range.
Dave Challinor’s side would hit back immediately after good work on the right hand side. Luke Molyneux beat his man and cut inside onto his favoured left foot. A curling ball found the onrushing Daly charging into the box who brought the ball down at lashed home from close range.
Carlisle returned the favour with another glorious chance as Jack Armer was on the receiving end of another cross which somehow flew over the bar from close range.
Shortly after the half time interval, Luke Hendrie almost had a dream debut when his header from a corner was just wide of the right hand post.
However, Pools were undone by another delivery into the box as former Poolie Lewis Alessandra curled a cross into the area to find Manasse Mampala who had the freedom of the six yard area to prod home from close range.
Challinor’s side rallied themselves and provided more pressure with crosses from the right hand side that pinned Carlisle back but it looked like they had been killed off by Chris Beech’s side when they broke on the counter when Tristan Abrahams received a through ball in the box and finished home into the left hand corner to make it 3-1.
Pools looked down and out but just when they need an injection of magic, Molyneux was the magician.
The winger received the ball on the right edge of the box, cut inside onto his favoured left foot and lashed home a wicked curling effort that kissed the underside of the bar and into the back of the net.
As Pools approached stoppage time, Molyneux drove towards the edge of the box and drew the foul of a Carlisle defender and was sent tumbling into the box.
The referee pointed to the spot and Olufela Olomola, who had come off the bench minutes before, stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way.
The game went to a penalty shootout with the winning side receiving two points from the group stage game.
After three penalties each, the game shootout was deadlocked at 2-2 but Tom Crawford was denied by keeper Lukas Jensen.
Molyneux provided a lifeline after Armer converted but the scorer of the first goal of the game delivered the final blow as Carlisle won the shootout 4-3.
POOLS: Jonathan Mitchell; Timi Odusina, Jake Lawlor, Luke Hendrie, David Ferguson, Reagan Ogle; Martin Smith, Matty Daly, Luke Molyneux; Tyler Goodwin, Mark Cullen
SUBS: Olufela Olomola, Tyler Burey, Tom Crawford