IT wasn’t exactly the ideal environment for a trialist to catch the eye – a snow-covered pitch, sub-zero temperatures and an unrelenting blizzard.
But Dennis Knight, the former Newcastle United forward, would have no doubt warmed the cockles of watching first-team boss John Hughes.
Released by The Magpies just last week, the 19-year-old was once billed as a future star on Tyneside, a player who would often appear above his own age group.
But Knight failed to make the grade at St James’s Park and so, yesterday, found himself bidding to impress at Billingham Town’s Bedford Terrace.
And that he did during the 4-1 win over Grimsby Town
Scorer of two goals, the deep-lying frontman also struck the woodwork on two occasions – he was the game’s stand-out player.
Mention, too, must also go to Luke James, who helped himself to a brace, but it was Knight who stole the show.
He took his chance to shine before the pitch became blanketed in snow.
Receiving possession 20 yards out, Knight dropped a shoulder to escape the attention of his opponent before landing a delightful curler on to the crossbar.
That was the closest Pools came during the opening period and, after Dayle Southwell had fired narrowly wide, the striker duly arrowed inside the post from 20 yards on 22 minutes to give the visitors the lead.
Within three minutes of the restart for the second period, however, Pools were level, Knight the scorer.
Michael Riley, another ex-Newcastle trialist, crossed from the left and his former team-mate was on hand to bundle home from close range.
Knight went in search of something a little more spectacular soon after and saw a 20-yard blast zip inches over.
Within minutes James had his first, turning in a header from eight yards after Lewis Hawkins had centred from the left.
By the hour mark the 18-year-old had doubled his tally, this time stabbing beyond Greg Fleming having trapped a cross and dispatched his shot in one fluid movement from 12 yards.
The hosts were by now adapting to the conditions and Riley levelled over from range on 61 minutes.
Amid the swirling snow Knight still sought to impress and only the gloves of Fleming denied him a sumptuous free-kick goal when he swept towards the top corner from 25 yards.
But that proved merely a range-finder for the Geordie and, seven minutes from time, he located the bottom corner with a set-piece smash from fully 30 yards.
By this point conditions had worsened to such a degree that visibility barely extended from one goalmouth to the other.
One thing was clear, however, Knight is a decent player.
We might not have seen the last of him in a Pools shirt.
Pools: McHugh, Richards (Hawkins 42), Johnson, Buddle, Holden, James, Rowbotham, Luscombe, Riley (Hope 65), Rutherford (Boagey 70), Knight.
Subs not used: Brown, Foden.