Pools Women made progress in the Durham County Cup on Sunday when they defeated Bishop Auckland 6-2 at King James I Academy.
It was far from a vintage performances from Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes’ side but they got the job done and ensured progress in another competition.
Pools could have been in front on four minutes when Caitlin Bates’ shot was saved by the Bishop Auckland keeper, while Bates then also fired another effort just wide moments later.
However, Bishops were working hard to knock Pools out of their rhythm and another chance came and went when Justine Robinson got through on goal but fired over.
The deadlock was finally broke on the half-hour when Robinson raced on to a lovely through-ball from Sarah Rowbotham and produced a clinical finish for 1-0.
The home side responded instantly and were on level terms when Pools failed to clear the danger on four occasions and Bishops were able to force the ball home to level things up.
It was a setback which seemed to shock Pools and they clicked in to a gear a little as the half drew to a close, going back in front on 38 minutes through Robyn Foster’s deflected effort before Robinson grabbed her second of the game just before the break.
Pools began the second half on the front foot too and were 4-1 up on 55 minutes when the impressive Bates beat the offside trip to smash home.
Foster volleyed in a right-wing cross midway through the second half to make it 5-1 before being forced off through injury and replaced by Ellie Gutcher who scored the sixth goal just two minutes after her introduction.
Fellow substitute Lucy Hammond-Garrington came close to making it 7-1 when she drove a shot wide but it was the hosts who has the last word when they pulled one back it 6-2 thanks to a Jade Pye own goal late on.
“It was nice to get the win but it was nowhere near the level we are capable of,” admitted Gibbon-Hayes afterwards.
“Credit to Bishop Auckland, they made it difficult for us on a small pitch but I have high standards and I think all of the players will admit that it wasn’t good enough.
“We must find a ruthless side if 2020 is going to be the year we make it up in to the National League.”
Full Time: Bishop Auckland 2 Pools 6
Pools: Lillystone, Bartlett, Hine, Stuart (Garside 54), Hanratty, Rowbotham (Pye 61), Robson, Ingram (Hammond-Garrington 72), Robinson, Bates, Foster (Gutcher 65).