Matthew Bates hailed his reserve-team’s nerve-jangling penalty shoot-out victory over Hebburn Town a twin success for Hartlepool United.
Pools, starting with six first-team squad men, fought back from being a goal down to draw 1-1 with the excellent Ebac Northern League team at Victoria Park.
It was a good learning curve for a lot of the lads, I’m sure they will have learned a lot from itMATTHEW BATES
The home team squeezed through 6-5 on spot-kicks, leaving Bates happy with the result and the fact that comeback men Luke George and Blair Adams both got through an hour of the Durham Challenge Cup tie and Jack Munns, one of the successful penalty-takers, a full match.
“There were two agendas for us last night,” said the reserve-team coach. “We had the first-team lads out there who needed minutes, and they certainly got them.
“It was right Luke and Blair just got an hour, especially Luke who has been out for such a long time, while Blair came on against Tranmere on Tuesday night.
“For those lads, it was a good night and for Munnsy, who needed 90 and he got that 90 under his belt.
“But it was nice to get some of the younger lads who have been doing well in the youth team, players like Jon Weirs, some exposure.
“I told the squad before the game that the first-teamers needed to get out of the game what they required and the youth players needed to get the club through in the cup.
“It was a good learning curve for a lot of the lads, I’m sure they will have learned a lot from it.”
Liam Travers headed in a late equaliser for Pools, who had trained to Mechack Kaanda’s 68th-minute goal, with youth tream left-back Jack Cooper scoring the winning spot-kick in sudden death.