Ian McGuckin paid tribute to his young players after Pools booked their place in the next round of the FA Youth Cup with a brilliant 6-0 win at Stockport County on Wednesday night.
Pools proved too much for their hosts during the Edgeley Park encounter and their emphatic win sets up another exciting away tie at Accrington Stanley in the First Round Proper.
“I am over the moon for the lads – they did everything we asked of them and more really,” McGuckin enthused.
“They showed a good attitude, a solid approach to the game and they put on a really professional performance so I hope they enjoyed the night with a great result at the end of it.”
It was Stockport who actually started the brighter on the night and Pools had some defending to do in the very early stages.
However, McGuckin’s men struck the opening goal on seven minutes when Aaron Willoughby got away down the outside to cross for Jay Gibson who arrived from midfield to head home and that seemed to settle Pools down.
There was a second goal midway through the first half when more good approach work saw the ball fed in to the box for Joe Grey who side-footed in from close range to make it 2-0.
The momentum was really with Pools after that and another great burst down the flank enabled a cross in to the box where Coleby Shepherd got free to add a third goal.
County were struggling to cope with Pools attacking intent and it was 4-0 just before half-time when yet more great build-up play saw play switched from one side to the other before Grey applied the finishing touch.
It got even better for Pools just after the break when Adam Campbell broke with determination from midfield, charged past a couple of Hatters defenders and finished clinically to make it 5-0.
And Campbell was instrumental again when the sixth goal arrived, this time his powerful run was halted by a foul in the box and Harrison Webster calmly converted from the resulting penalty.
“Two away games in the competition so far and 13 goals – so long may it continue,” added McGuckin.
“It will obviously get tougher as we progress but the lads loved that – and fair play to Stockport because they were very welcoming and it was a brilliant experience for our players to play in a big, old stadium like that.
“Accrington will be a different kinds of experience for us again and will be tough but we’ll look forward to it and I’m sure we can compete for a place in the next round.”
Full Time: Stockport County 0 Pools 6
Pools: Young, Wilson (James 60), Pilling (Naisbett 70), Thompson, Webster, Campbell, Gibson, Willoughby, Leonard, Shepherd, Grey (Chapman 60).
Subs not used: Lowerson, Sturdy.