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Pools’ Reserves blow early two-goal lead – as York trialist Alex Kempster wins pro contract

Pools coach Matthew Bates was in charge of the young reserve side beaten by York. Picture by Frank Reid
Pools coach Matthew Bates was in charge of the young reserve side beaten by York. Picture by Frank Reid

Hartlepool United Reserves were beaten 5-2 by York City’s second string today – despite taking a 2-0 lead inside the first 11 minutes.

Lewis Orrell opened the scoring after five minutes before Jon Weir doubled the advantage for Matthew Bates’ young side, made up largely of youth team players.

However, York came storming back and reduced the arrears before half-time through Connor Smith.

The second half was one-way traffic with York trialist Alex Kempster bagging a hat-trick and an own goal adding to Pools’ misery.

The win was bottom club City’s first in the Central League’s Group B North, following six successive defeats. Pools sit seventh in the 10-team division, with two wins and four defeats from their six matches so far.

The day was a triumph for Whitley Bay striker Kempster, whose heroics in front of goal clinched a professional contract with National League North outfit York, managed by ex-Sunderland midfielder Martin Gray.

The 22-year-old trained with the Minstermen for the first time on Monday, and impressed massively against Pools.

“I am absolutely buzzing and it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind,” said Kempster, who has penned a contract until the end of the season.

“I spoke to the gaffer straight after the game and he has put his faith in me.

“It’s a massive decision, but you have got to try and get your foot on the ladder.

“If someone is giving you a professional contract, you have got to take it. It’s what every lad dreams of really.”

Kempster will give up his jobs as a PE teacher and barman to become a full-time pro with York, following more than 200 games for Whitley Bay in the Northern League.

The forward is impressed by York, telling yorkcityfootballclub.co.uk: “It’s a really good set-up, a really good ground, and the fanbase is unbelievable.

“I can’t wait to get out there and score some goals.”