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Academy: Ian McGuckin delighted with Stockport showing

1 February 2024

Club News

Academy: Ian McGuckin delighted with Stockport showing

1 February 2024

Hartlepool United Academy progressed to the EFL Youth Alliance Cup regional semi final with a 5-1 home win over Stockport County at the weekend.

Academy Manager, Ian McGuckin, was thrilled with his side's display which included four second half goals at Blackhall.
 
“We were really pleased on Saturday - it was a fantastic performance,” reported McGuckin. 
 
“Campbell Darcy scored an excellent header but they equalised so it was level at half-time. It could’ve went either way at that point, so I’m delighted we went out and expressed ourselves. 
 
“It was a real dominant performance in the second half with some brilliant goals. It made the scoreline look somewhat flattering, but the lads deserved that for their endeavour. 
 
“Chris Lynn and Joe Kitching both got braces, and both scored with some wonderful finishes. We showed intent throughout the game with some real attacking threat.”
 
The draw for the regional semi final was made on Tuesday afternoon, and Pools have been handed an away tie to Preston North End on February 24.
 
"It'll be a tough game," previewed McGuckin.
 
"They're a strong and dominant team so we'll have to be at our very best. The occasion speaks for itself so I'm sure we will be up for it.
 
"It's a different experience for the lads - going to a club outside of our regional league. We played them at home in the group stage and they beat us 4-3 so we know it'll be a test for us."
 
Next up for Pools is an away fixture at Lincoln City. McGuckin's side travel to the Barrett Steel Stadium (Bottesford Town) for a midday kick-off on Friday, February 2.
 
"We're looking forward to it," stated McGuckin.
 
"We were disappointed Tuesday's game against Huddersfield Town was called off due to the weather. We wanted to build off our last two performances.
 
"We now turn our attention to Lincoln on Friday. We drew 1-1 with them at home earlier in the season, and we're expecting another challenging game.
 
"For ourselves, we've put in two excellent displays back-to-back so we want to keep the momentum rolling. 
 
"Ollie Duthie is still out injured and Joel Ingram will be a doubt with a knock. Apart from that, and the lads out on youth loans, we've got a full squad to choose from."

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