There was a massive amount of Poolie pride at stake at at Billingham Town on Saturday as two Pools keepers went head-to-head in a dramatic Northern League Division One encounter.
Ryan Catterick is on a season-long loan at Guisborough Town, while Brad Young is enjoying a similar stint at Billingham Town – so there was a little extra edge when the two sides locked horns at the weekend.
“I tried to get in his head in the build-up to the game by telling him he wasn’t playing and things like that,” laughed Catterick.
“It was good to have that bit of competition and we both played very well in the game which made it even better.”
Young added: “He definitely tried to get in my head – he was even waiting for me outside the changing rooms before kick-off!
“We had quite a lot of banter before the game and Ryan was very confident because they were joint top and we were seventh – he’s not so confident now though!”
The hard-fought fixture at Bedford Terrace looked to be heading towards a very diplomatic goalless draw on Saturday until there was some drama in injury-time.
And with two Pools loan players in goal, it should be no surprise that the affair was settled by a striker born and bred in Hartlepool as Billingham’s Craig Hutchinson slotted home a 93rd-minute winner.
“I had made quite a few good saves before then but I couldn’t really do anything about the goal,” conceded Catterick.
“To be honest though, we got battered so I don’t think we can really complain about the result because Billingham probably deserved to win.
“All the Pools lads have been giving me stick about it. Even when I got back to The Vic on Saturday they were all shouting 1-0 at me but I just have to take it on the chin don’t I?
“The only good thing is that we had talked about having a forfeit on the game but then Brad backed out at the last minute – thank goodness he did!”
17-year-old Young is taking it all in his stride as he continues to gain valuable experience during his loan stay with Billingham but did admit that he enjoyed Saturday’s game more than most.
“It was class – especially seeing Ryan’s face in the 93rd minute,” he smiled.
“I have played it pretty cool since Saturday but, to be fair, I’ve not had to say much because I’ve just let the rest of the lads get on to him! He’s not happy.
“It’s been brilliant for me at Billingham though and I was buzzing with the clean sheet. A 17-year-old playing men’s football – it’s class.
“I am gaining such good experience and I am learning with every game I play so I just want to keep playing and keep getting better.”
Both sides are in League Cup action on Tuesday night when Billingham play host to Crook Town and Guisborough make the trip to face Shildon.
“The loan spell at Guisborough has been great so far,” said Catterick.
“We’ve been top of the league until Saturday and I think we only dropped to third after the defeat so it’s been enjoyable to be part of it.
“It’s just been good to get in to the swing of playing every week. Obviously, it’s good training with Ross, Ben, Brad and Dimi but playing games is key and is what is going to help me improve.”
Well played, fellas – and here’s to the rematch at Guisborough in February…