Sam Collins praise for Hartlepool United trialist

Sam Collins. Picture by FRANK REID
Sam Collins. Picture by FRANK REID

SAM Collins heaped praise on trialist Scott Fenwick after he scored twice for Hartlepool United’s reserves in their 2-1 win over Gateshead.

The highly-rated 24-year-old striker has been on the radar of a number of league clubs after impressing in non-league circles at Durham FC and Dunston UTS.

Fenwick netted his first in the 63rd minute from close range, before Gateshead sub Micky Cummins equalised with his first touch in the first group game of the Final Third Development League Cup.

But the Dunston striker - who caused Gateshead problems all afternoon - scored the winner in the 75th minute, beating the offside trap to coolly lob the ball over the head of keeper Alex Baird.

Struggling Pools, bottom of Sky Bet League Two, are in desperate need of new strikers and lively Fenwick could fit the bill.

He was in deep discussions with manager Paul Murray and chief executive Russ Green after the game.

Reserve coach Collins told SportMail: “Scott had two or three really good chances.

“He took his goals really well and he certainly knows where the back of the net is.

“Scott played 70 minutes for Dunston the night before so to come in and play like that is credit to him.

“This is what we are trying to do, looking for new players to bring in.”

Collins added: “We could have scored six or seven as we played some really good football at times.

“We have won the game and that is the most important thing and there were some really good performances.”

Two other trialists started, goalkeeper Jonathan Maxted - who played against Pools for Bradford Park Avenue in pre-season - and Northern Ireland youth international Darren McKnight from Barnsley.

The 19-year-old started up front at Bedford Terrace but is also comfortable in midfield and showed promise.

Dutch winger Sidney Schmeltz - who missed a sitter in the second-half - was subbed after 65 minutes, suggesting he could be in line to start against East Thurrock United in the FA Cup.

Pools: Maxted, Richards, Holden, Green, Nearney, Jones (C), Smith, Hawkins, Fenwick (Wood, 79), McKnight, Schmeltz (Blackford, 65).

Subs Not Used: Dawson (gk), Turnbull, Jewson.

Goal: Fenwick (63, 75)

Gateshead: Baird, Jones (C), Perry, Briggs, Howe, Allan, Guy (Cummins, 65), Briggs, Halpin, Wilson, Kanda.

Subs Not Used: Wilson (gk), Mills.

Goal: Cummins (66)