Hartlepool United academy cruise into next round of FA Youth Cup with Blyth Spartans success
and live on Freeview channel 276
The young Pools side faced a North East derby in the second qualifying round but made light work of their neighbours thanks to a double from Max Storey along with goals from Millen Burnett, Leo Robinson and Euan McBride.
Pools opened the scoring inside the first 15 minutes when Burnett slid in from close range to convert Storey’s tidy assist from the left.
The young forward came close to doubling his tally for the evening when firing wide soon after before stand-in captain Leo Robinson did extend the lead for Ian McGuckin’s side.
Robinson – who featured for John Askey’s first team squad in pre-season – finished well from the edge of the area midway through the first half before Blyth goalkeeper Max Campbell produced a number of notable saves to keep Spartans in the tie.
But Pools grabbed a third through Storey – another who has been in and around the first team picture in the past, including when being named part of the club’s FA Cup third round squad against Stoke City last season, as he found the back of the net from distance.
Leon Burke pulled one back for the away side before half-time to keep things interesting before Storey quickly re-established Hartlepool’s three-goal advantage within a minute of the restart with a fine curling effort from the edge of the area.
Jake Wilkinson, who got the nod over new signing Josh Mazfari in goal for Pools, was on hand to deny Burke a second for Blyth as the home side were, otherwise, able to see the game out comfortably in the second half with McBride adding the finishing touches 15 minutes from time when his strike from distance deflected in.
It was a result which left development coach McGuckin pleased as he hopes his side will now relish further opportunities to compete this season.
"We’re pleased with the scoreline. Obviously the objective was to be in the next round, which we’ve managed to do,” said McGuckin.
"At times I thought we were a little bit sloppy, but at times I thought we played some good stuff as well.
"In the first 45 we did create a lot of opportunities – we wanted more of a return in terms of goals but it wasn’t to be. Blyth defended really well at times to keep the scoreline down. But five goals at home is a decent achievement.
"It wasn’t all one way traffic, at times we had to hang in there.
"We spoke about our decision-making before the game, and mixing our game up a little bit, and some of the goals resulted in that.
"It’s a big occasion for the younger lads – especially the first years. So thanks to everybody for turning out and coming to support the young players because it does make a difference and it gives the young lads a massive boost. Hopefully they’ve enjoyed their first taste of it now and want more of it.”
Meanwhile Hartlepool United Women will face a North East tie of their own in the third qualifying round of the Vitality FA Cup against Gateshead following an emphatic 9-2 win over Ripon.