It was another rainy day at Cheapside, with the Autumn weather beginning to set in, but the Young Mariners’ spirits were not dampened as they looked for their second win of the season. Brandon Buckley was absent from the squad after being named as a substitute for the First Team in their match against Bury. Mattie Pollock was also missing after an illness. In their places, Under 16’s player, Owen Davey, and first year scholar, Reese Jahoo, came into the squad.
Both teams started strong, with possession being fairly fifty fifty. The Town youngsters were having better luck on goal, however, and opened the scoring in the 15th minute when KYLE RICHARDSON blasted the ball into the back of the net to send the Young Mariners 1 – 0 up. Soon after, Town went close again from a free kick on the edge of the box, unluckily missing. As the half went on, both sides continued to create chances, but none managed to find the back of the net.
HALF TIME: GTFC U18’s 1 – 0 Hartlepool Utd Under 18’s
The Young Mariners were fast out of the docks as the second half got underway, doubling their lead within the first ten minutes of the restart. The goal came courtesy of first year scholar, LENNON STEAD, who slotted the ball under the diving goalkeeper in a crowded 16-yard box. Hartlepool piled on the pressure following the goal, however, and were fairly dominant. Several shots landed on target for United, but Ollie Battersby managed to comfortably save them all. Town nearly got their third goal midway through the second half after Conley Poynter’s shot from outside the box sailed over the head of the goalkeeper and rattled off the inside of the goalpost.
The squad were given some fresh legs in the 64th and 70th minutes when goalscorer Lennon Stead was replaced with Brandon McPherson, and Cameron Painter was replaced by Under 16, Owen Davey. Hartlepool continued to push despite the substitutions, and Town frustrations were beginning to show when Joe Starbuck was booked for kicking the ball away after the opposition received a free kick on the edge of the box. The resulting shot from the free kick went over the crossbar, allowing the Young Mariners to regroup. Another substitution was made late on in the half as joint top goalscorer, Rumarn Burrell, was replaced with Deji Owoeye. Hartlepool kept pressing but were ultimately unsuccessful despite various chances.
FULL TIME: GTFC U18’s 2 – 0 Hartlepool Utd Under 18’s
Yesterday’s win means that the Young Mariners remain unbeaten in all competitions, having only conceded on goal since the beginning of August. They will now look to continue their form in the Youth Alliance Cup, next Saturday, when they face Fleetwood Town. Fleetwood have been on an unbeaten run of their own in the league so far, with three draws and one win. The Young Mariners face off against the Cod Army’s Under 18’s on Saturday 15th September at Cheapside Training Ground, 12:00KO.