FC Halifax Town’s under-19’s were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup at the third qualifying stage after they suffered a 2-1 away defeat to Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.
Two goals inside the first 15 minutes from Connor Simpson and Joseph Jackson were enough to take Hartlepool into the first round of the prestigious competition despite Sam Clayton’s injury time consolation.
Hartlepool started strongly and could have gone ahead when Simpson’s glancing header drifted wide of the far post from Jackson’s cross.
United took the lead after a dozen minutes with Simpson finding the target this time as his towering header at the far post found the bottom left corner.
A couple of minutes later, Hartlepool doubled their lead after Jackson smashed home the ball following a pull-back cross by Ryan Robinson.
Halifax almost cut Hartlepool’s lead ten minutes later when Eliel Anku shot just wide with goalkeeper Elliot Stephenson off his line after a miss-placed punch.
Town were restricted to long-range efforts for the remainder of the half as Jack Knight twice shot over the bar whilst Anku fired wide from the edge of the area after a quick counter-attack.
Shaymen goalkeeper Jack Atkinson was forced into some late action as on the stroke of half-time he made a tremendous double save to keep out Simpson and Jackson.
Halifax had the first real chance of the second-half when Kevin Swales saw his shot blocked before James Sunderland’s powerful strike was well stopped.
Hartlepool had much of the chances thereafter with defender Brooklyn Miller seeing his header hit the roof of the net whilst Atkinson did well to tip over a Robinson corner.
Knight continued to prove troublesome as his short corner resulted in the midfielder forcing a fine save from Stephenson to stop his strong effort.
Atkinson produced the save of the night soon after as he was equal to stop Jackson who had broken one-on-one with the keeper.
Hartlepool had a couple of late opportunities as Jacob Owen headed wide and Jackson half-volleyed off target.
In the added time, Halifax’s second-half efforts were rewarded as Sam Clayton’s headed in across goal at the far post from a left-hand side cross.
But, Hartlepool held on for the win which takes them into the next round.
Hartlepool United: Stephenson, Murphy, Cooper, Bayne, Owen, Miller, Robinson, Orrell, Simpson, Boyle, Jackson
Subs: Pritchard, Lawrence, Leonard, Willoughby, Thompson
FC Halifax Town: Atkinson, Benn, Glover, Knight, Clayton, Moloney (C), Swales, Healey, Anku, Sunderland, Adiele
Subs: Rushworth, Abioyo, Sesay, Wade, Chiroba
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