Hartlepool United brought their full first team squad for the pre-season friendly at the CNG Stadium.
However, it was Town who nearly drew first blood when after five minutes Ian Ross rattled the far post after fine approach play by Stephen Turnbull and Paul Brayson.Pools replied with ex Newcastle star Nobby Solano testing Mark Cook with a 25 yard free kick.The visitors began to dominate and Colin Nish hit the post after Cook had kept out Anthony Sweeney’s header.
The Town defence,with Richard Pell dominant in the air,were managing to contain Pools attack,but it took a brilliant point blank save by Cook from Nish to keep the scoresheet blank.
At the other end Ross tried his luck with a 35 yard shot which was easily dealt with by Scott Flinders.
Two goals early in the second half sealed Town’s fate.
Firsty,Neil Austin’s 35 yard drive after 49 minutes beat sub keeper Chris Elliott,then five minutes later Nish tapped in from close range after an unlucky rebound in the Town defence.
Harrogate battled hard and a through ball from Turnbull on the hour sent Brayson clear, but Flinders managed to block his powerful shot.
Both sides used almost all their full quota of subs and it was Pool sub Nathan Luscombe’s pass which set up James Poole who drove low into the net in the final minute to complete the scoring.
It was an excellent workout for Town who now defend the John Smith’s Trophy at Station View against Railway Athletic on Saturday.