sport

Youngsters impress Cooper

Colin Cooper has praised young Hartlepool duo Connor Smith and Kieran Green for grasping their opportunity with the first team.

Having impressed during the club's training camp in Spain, both were on target as Pools routed Northern League Division Two side Billingham Town 9-0 on Wednesday.

Smith came off the bench to score a second-half hat-trick, while Green also found the net after coming on as a substitute.

Cooper believes the pair highlight the strength of the youth system at the club.

He told the club's official website: "Just as in Spain, the pair of them did themselves a credit and they're a credit to the people who work very hard in our academy structure.

"It shows that Hartlepool United are still producing good players who can handle a football and, if you get yourself a goal like Kieran and Connor did, then you get noticed."