Ian McGuckin reflects on Hartlepool United's 3-2 FA Youth Cup defeat at South Shields
Hartlepool United youth team coach Ian McGuckin felt his side’s luck ran out following their 3-2 defeat at South Shields on Friday night.
Sam Hodgson gave Shields an early lead before a fine curling effort from Joe Grey levelled things up after half an hour.
But the hosts fired back straight away as they won a penalty seconds after the restart which was converted by Hodgson. Ben Errington looked to have put the result beyond doubt in the closing stages to make it 3-1 before Jack Leonard’s strike in the 88th minute set up a nervous final few moments for The young Mariners who were able to hold out for a 3-2 win.
“It was obviously a very end to end game and a lot of chances for both teams to be fair,” McGuckin admitted.
“I think we used up all of our previous luck in the previous round against Accrington Stanley.
“Fair play to South Shields, I’m not going to take anything away from them because it was a hard fought game and best of luck to them in the next round.
“The lads are disappointed but they’ve got to bottle that feeling and use it to drive them forward and improve. That’s football, you’ve just got to move on and luck to improve.”
Pools’ first half equaliser was praised by McGuckin as he commented: “It was a great finish from Joe to cut in and curl it in, he’s done very well.
“But then they went down the other end straight away and score.
“The first thing you say when you get a goal back is to try and get the ball back again quickly but literally it’s 30 seconds and they’re straight down the other end and we’ve got a mountain to climb again.
“It’s a massive learning curve for the lads.
“We kept going right until the end and got back into it but it was just a bit too little too late.
“Fair play to the lads because we changed things around and tried everything we could changing personnel and formations to try and get ourselves back into it but it wasn’t to be tonight and we accept that.”