Pools Reserves Win Despite Second Half Collapse
Hartlepool United Reserves put four goals past Sunderland Reserves but were forced to cling on for the win after a second half collapse.
Pools team contained former Newcastle youngster Mark Doninger in midfield but Joe Gamble, currently on trial with the club from Cork, was unable to play in the game.
Pools took the lead early on when Billy Greulich broke free and slotted the ball in the net. The home side had the chance to bring the scores level when Julian Cherel brought down Oumare Tounkara in the box but David Meyler's penalty was saved by Mark Cook.
Jonny Rowell made the Black Cats pay as he doubled the Hartlepool lead, slotting home after David Foley pass from the left. It was soon 3-0 as former Sunderland man Ben Clark headed home a Jon-Andre Fredriksen cross.
Pools were already out of the Totesport Cup thanks to other results but were on the rampage as the Sunderland defence suffered once more. David Foley turned a defender and curled in the fourth to give Pools what seemed an unassailable lead at the half time interval.
However, Chris Turner's half time team talks had obviously rubbed off on Colin West as Pools started the second half by conceding within 5 minutes of the restart when striker Roy O'Donovan bundled home from three yards out.
With 20 minutes to go the hosts pulled another goal back through Daryl Murphy and then just a minute later Cherel conceded his second penalty of the game. Liam Noble stepped up to make the score 4-3 leaving clinging on to their lead. The task was made easier when Noble was sent off for a second bookable offence and Pools held on for the win.
FT: Sunderland Reserves 3 Hartlepool Reserves 4
Scunthorpe advance to the semi-finals as group winners
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Sunderland: Wilson, Kay, M Liddle, Noble, Madden, Cornforth, O'Donovan, Meyler, Tounkara, R Noble, Murphy.
Subs not used: Brown, Misiewicz, Hourihane, Galer, O'Mahoney.
Pools: Cook, Purvis (Liddle, 73), Blackford, Rowell, Cherel, Clark (Johnson, 46), Doninger, Power, Greulich, Foley (Mason, 61), Fredriksen
Subs not used: Martin, Herbert.