TRIALIST Greg McDermott played the full 90 minutes for Hartlepool United’s reserves as they signed off for the season with a 4-1 defeat at Scunthorpe United.
The 20-year-old will spend a fortnight training with Pools having been told he will be released from Newcastle United at the end of the season.
But he was part of a disappointing campaign finale for Micky Barron’s second string at Glanford Park.
It could have been different had Greg Rutherford – recent first-team debutant – finished when he burst through on goal early in the game.
First-team outcast Nathan Luscombe and Callum Hassan, back from a hamstring injury, also spurned early chances.
But it was the Iron who drew first blood when Scott Matthews converted from close range after good work from Connor Jennings.
The provider turned scorer when he pounced upon the rebounds from a Matt Godden free-kick which had been repelled by Andy Rafferty.
And things went from bad to worse after the break as Luke Hornsey rifled home from 25 yards on 55 minutes.
Hassan sparked hope of a comeback when he matched Hornsey’s efforts with a tidy finish from range but Godden added a fourth for the hosts.
And Barron said: “They passed it better than us and were brighter than us.
“We made silly, poor mistakes and didn’t really compete for the first twenty minutes or so of the game.
“We actually had a couple of decent chances in the first half but they played better than us and deserved their lead.
“It was a young team we had out there but so was Scunthorpe’s - in the second half we did improve but we still conceded two more goals.
“Kerry Hedley did well when he came off the bench but he had to go off near the end after taking a whack on the thigh and we’d used all our subs so we ended with ten men.
“I would say that positives were to be taken from the performances of our subs today and their introduction coincided with our best spell of the game.”
Pools: Rafferty, Richards, Buddle, Rowbotham, Holden, McDermott, Hawkins (Green 75), Luscombe, Wignall (Hedley 55), Hassan, Rutherford (Jones 60). Subs not used: Tuck.