Youth Team Beaten At AFC Fylde

Joe Grey, Hartlepool United Youth Team

Pools Youth Team fell to their first defeat of the season as AFC Fylde ran out winners in the NLFA Northern Division encounter on Wednesday afternoon.

The home side were good value for their 4-1 triumph as Ian McGuckin’s youngsters were made to pay for some lapses in concentration at the back during the trip to the Fylde Coast.

There was a frenetic start to the contest as Fylde got on the front foot in the opening minutes and Pools keeper Grant Lowerson had to make a smart save from a shot from distance.

However, a counter-attack almost saw Pools steal in front when the home keeper was caught out of position with Jake Grey running through but the recovering defenders just got back in time and the chance was snuffed out.

Pools did go in front on 14 minutes though. Great work down the right from Aaron Willoughby saw him create some space to feed the ball across to Grey and he was able to prod it home from close range.

The game was end to end for a spell after that before Fylde drew level just before the half-hour when a ball in from the left wasn’t dealt with by Pools and Harrison Webster’s attempted clearance ricocheted off teammate Adam Campbell and beyond Lowerson for 1-1.

The goal seemed to knock Pools off course and the hosts went in front for the first time just before half-time when a short corner caught McGuckin’s men out and Fylde worked it well to take the lead.

Pools created a number of good chances in the second half as they searched for a route back in to the game; Lucas Pilling went close with a header and Coleby Shepherd tested the keeper with a couple of efforts from long-range.

However, on 67 minutes it was Fylde who scored again as the forward broke away, rode a couple of challenges and finished well to make it 3-1.

Pools went chasing the game in the closing stages and were caught out again near the end as The Coasters raced clear to grab a fourth goal and secure the three points.

“It seems to affect us psychologically when we concede a goal so we need to work on that,” admitted McGuckin afterwards.

“We need to be more resilient because we are creating a lot of chance at the other end but we need to stay focused and in the game at those moments when things might go against us.

“I am still learning about this group with every game we play though, identifying their strengths and what they need to improve upon.

“We fell short on this challenge but we’ll get back to work and be ready for the next one.”

Full Time: AFC Fylde 4 Pools 1

Pools: Lowerson, James (Gibson 67)), Webster, Campbell, Naisbett, Pilling, Willoughby (Sturdy 67), Shepherd, Chapman (Wilson 55), Leonard, Grey.