Red Hot Reserves Romp Past Scunthorpe
Hartlepool Reserves v Scunthorpe Reserves
Report from Bedford Terrace
A scorching afternoon across the North East was the perfect excuse to make the trip to Billingham to see Hartlepool Reserves take on Scunthorpe in the Central League.
A strong Pools side contained James Poole, Nathan Luscombe, Steve Haslam, Colin Larkin and James Brown alongside a number of youth players and Micky Barron's men had the best possible start to the game.
Jack Baldwin, operating in midfield rather than defence, popped up after a corner caused a melee in the box to fire home with a powerful effort. The Scunthorpe goal led a charmed life as a James Brown effort was cleared off the line before Pools doubled the lead from a set piece.
Another corner caused chaos in the Scunthorpe defence and Jordon Mellish had all the time in the world to head home.
James Brown looked to be getting back to his old self and was causing the visitors all sorts of trouble in an impressive display, while Mellish was unlucky not to add a third as his effort was tipped onto the bar.
But the game was over as a contest soon after when a rash challenge from a Scunthorpe defender saw Pools awarded a penalty, much to the dismay of the Scunthorpe coaching staff, and Nathan Luscombe slotted home from the spot.
There was some bad news as Mellish limped off after a tough tackle, Greg Rutherford replaced the defender, but Pools still coasted to a commanding half time lead.
The second half began as the first ended, with Pools in control and camped in the opposing half for much of the game. Forgotten man Colin Larkin, isolated on the right in the first half, was now playing a central role and combining well with James Brown.
Brown should have made it four when some neat play down the right found the striker in the box but he fired way over the bar while at the other end, Andy Rafferty made his only save of the game with as he tipped a long range strike over in impressive fashion.
After coasting through much of the half the introduction of young striker Steven Snaith saw a fresh wave of Pools attacks as both Brown and Snaith came close to adding another goal.
But while the scoreline remained the same, this was a dominant performance from a home side who looked a cut above the youthful opposition, the poor performances at the start of campaign have been well and truly laid to rest.
FT: Hartlepool Reserves 3 Scunthorpe Reserves 0
Hartlepool Reserves: Rafferty, Haslam, Johnson, Mellish (Rutherford 20), Holden, Larkin, Luscombe (Snaith 58), Baldwin, Richards, Poole (James 55), Brown.
Subs not used: Jones, Mooney.