HARTLEPOOL United’s Durham Challenge Cup hopes were ended by a stunning 88th minute free-kick from Alex Francis this evening.
The goal condemned Pools to a 2-1 defeat at West Auckland.
Dan Jones was penalised for handball 30 yards out, and the West Auckland midfielder fired a missile into the top corner of James Montgomery’s goal.
The home side had gone in front six minutes before the break. Pools failed to deal with a ball up the middle and nifty striker Steven Richardson finished from the edge of the box.
Pools were level three minutes into the second half, Michael Woods playing in Marlon Harewood, who advanced before keeping his composure and stroking the ball into the keeper’s left hand corner.