Collins pleased as Pools see off York City

Brad Walker scored the winning goal
Brad Walker scored the winning goal

Sam Collins gave the thumbs up to his young players after Hartlepool United’s reserves launched their Central League campaign with a 2-1 win against York City.

Pools scored a goal in each half, through loan signing Tom Heardman and midfield Brad Walker to take the points at Billingham Town.

That’s four wins on the bounce now but while it’s nice to have the victory, it’s not all about the winning.

Former captain and assistant boss Collins is the club’s development coach and declared himself happy with what he’s seen so far - on the training ground and on the field.

“We had already played seven or eight games behind closed doors,” said Collins.

“But it was nice to get the first league win under our belts.

“The first half we played pretty well and a lot of the things we’ve been working on went well.

“We were not as good in the second half but we’ve won the game and that’s good for the players.

“That’s four wins on the bounce now but while it’s nice to have the victory, it’s not all about the winning.

“It’s a young group and the lads have been working really hard and have all taken on board what I’ve been asking them to do.

“It’s about them developing as players and trying to get them somewhere near first-team level.”

One player boss Craig Hignett hopes will challenge for the League Two side, Jake Orrell, hit the side netting early on with Pools’ first sight of goal.

But Pools were not to be denied and it was Heardman who put them in front in the 26th minute.

Walker’s corner was headed goalwards by Kieran Green with Heardman guiding it into the corner.

York had their moments in attack but Tyler Walton saw a free header come back off the post while Callum Rzonca shot wide of Ryan Catterick’s goal.

Walker let fly from distance before the break, only to see his attempt fade wide of the post.

The Minstermen equalised at the start of the second half when Flynn McNaughton tapped in after good work by the winger on the left.

Pools reponded when Boro loan striker Bradley Fewster’s shot went agonisingly wide of Luke Simpson’s post.

Justin Johnson hit the woodwork for York from close range and they were made to pay when Pools grabbed the winner.

Walker whipped in a free-kick which the keeper could not gather and the ball slipped over the line.

A buoyed Walker tried his luck from outside the box ony to shoot well wide while Connor Smith was thwarted by the keeper.

While Pools could not add to their tally, they were not to be denied.

Pools: Catterick, Nearney, Pollock, Assenso (Richardson), Martin, Smith, Green, Walker, Orrell, Heardman (Blackford), Fewster (Elliott).

Unused subs: Moloney, Hawkes, Owen.