Youth Team Knocked Out Of League Cup

Ian McGuckin, Hartlepool United

Pools Youth Team were knocked out of the NLFA League Cup on Wednesday when they were beaten 2-1 by Chester at Welfare Park in Blackhall.

It was a disappointing outcome for the Club’s youngsters who went in to the game on the back of a confidence-boosting 7-0 win over Seaham Red Star in the FA Youth Cup.

However, after a solid start to the game in which Pools began to move the ball around well during the early stages, Chester grew in stature and stole in front on 32 minutes when visiting forward Will Goodwin stormed forward through a number of challenges to finish neatly for 1-0.

Chester gave Pools a mountain to climb when they doubled their lead three minutes after half-time when they broke quickly to find a second goal through Tom Ruffer.

Ian McGuckin made a couple of changes and Jay Gibson came off the bench to have an immediate impact when he pulled a goal back, getting on the end of a swift counter-attack down the right following good work from Joe Grey.

The goal lifted Pools and they had their visitors on the back foot for the closing fifteen minutes as they searched for an equalising goal.

Grey hit the bar with a header and then saw another headed effort drop just wide of the post but McGuckin’s side couldn’t find another route to goal as Chester held on for the win.

“It was a frustrating afternoon,” admitted McGuckin afterwards.

“We didn’t play to our full capabilities for the majority of the game and it was only in the final quarter of an hour when we really got going.

“We need to be better for longer periods because when we get it down, move it quickly and look to play forward we are a real handful for the opposition teams.

“As well as that, we did look a little vulnerable in the game and without the ball we weren’t as good as I would like us to be so there is work to be done.”

Full Time: Pools 1 Chester 2

Pools: Young, Wilson, Thompson, Pilling, Webster, Campbell, Sturdy, (Gibson 70) Willoughby (Chapman 57), Shepherd, Leonard, Grey.
Subs not used: Lowerson, James, Naisbett.