Hartlepool 2 Middlesbrough Under-23 1: Laing and Munns strikes see Pools come from behind to beat Boro kids

Jack Munns hammers home
Jack Munns hammers home

Hartlepool United's first-team ended their pre-season campaign with victory, seeing off Middlesbrough's Under-23 side at a rain-soaked Victoria Park.

George Miller opened the scoring for Boro, coached by former Pools hero Graeme Lee, before a Louis Laing header and a cracker from Jack Munns ensured the first-team rounded off their summer in style.

Louis Laing heads in Pools' opener

Louis Laing heads in Pools' opener

With just eight days left until the start of the National League season, Craig Harrison picked a strong starting XI - one close to what can be expected next week against Dover Athletic - with newly-maned skipper Carl Magnay leading the side out, Lewis Hawkins partnering Conor Newton in the middle with Padraig Amond up top.

Judging by the names on show, the likelihood of a reserve team being sent to take on Whitley Bay tomorrow has increased dramatically.

Pools got off to a decent start in the encounter, with Munns seeing plenty of ball out on the left and Newton showing some much needed bite in the middle.

And it was summer signing Munns who had the first opportunity fall his way. Reacting quickest to a Boro slip up at the back he drove towards the visiting area off the left and curled a right-footed effort inches wide of the far post.

Frontman Amond could have opened the scoring moments later but could not divert a Ryan Donaldson set-piece goalwards from six yards.

While Pools were on top for much of the opening 45, they created little in terms of chances and went in at the break the better side but without anything of note to show for it.

Second best for much of proceedings Boro came out with renewed vigour after the break, after what can only be described as a lethargic first half, epitomised by the lackluster show from Adlene Guedioura.

Sidelined from the first-team squad by Garry Monk he came out with a point to prove after half-time, and it was from his pinpoint cross that the visitors opened the scoring. Miller turning home from close range for 1-0 on 52 minutes.

But that goal seemed to spark Harrison's men into action. Pools were behind for just seven minutes as Laing headed home a free-kick just before the hour mark before Munns completed a jinking run off the left with a crashing finish into the roof of the Boro net for 2-1.

At the other end the largely redundant Scott Loach between the Hartlepool sticks had to be at his best to deny a 75th minute equaliser for the visitors, getting down sharply to block Callum Johnson's powerful header.

And that was the way it stayed for Pools at a drenched Vic.

All-in-all a solid run-out for Harrison's men with some bright performances, particularly Munns. Although, a knock picked up by left-back Blair Adams will be a slight concern for the gaffer. Hopefully it was precautionary, and nothing more serious.

Hartlepool XI: Scott Loach, Carl Magnay, Louis Laing, Scott Harrison, Blair Adams (Kenton Richardson 69), Conor Newton, Lewis Hawkins, Michael Woods, Jack munns, Ryan Donaldson, Padraig Amond.

Not used: Ryan Catterick, Josh Hawkes, Jack Blackford, Devante Rodney, Kosovar Sadiki.

Goals: Laing 59, Munns 61

Cards: None

Boro XI: Brad James, Callum Johnson, Patrick Reading, Ben Liddle (Lewis Wing 46), Enes Mahmutovic, Tom Brewitt (Harry Goode 46), Mikael Soisalo, Adlene Guedioura, George Miller, Marcus Tavernier, Harry Chapman(Mitchell Curry 85).

Not used: Jay Wilson, Zach Hemmings.

Goals: Miller 52

Cards: None

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Att: 1,299