Young Middlesbrough striker Tyrone O’Neill made his Hartlepool debut a little over 24 hours after joining the club on loan – and immediately set about impressing new boss Matthew Bates.

The 19-year-old came off the bench for the last 20 minutes of Pools’ impressive 0-0 draw at League One Gillingham in Saturday’s first round tie.

Bates was struck by O’Neill’s qualities during a scouting mission to watch Boro’s Under-23s in action against Norwich City last weekend when the striker was on the scoresheet.

And the Pools boss wasted no time in getting the Grangetown lad in amongst the action on Saturday, despite the fact he’d only met his new teammates the day prior.

“He did well, he brought a robustness,” Bates told the Hartlepool Mail. “He will not give the opposition any time on the ball but he is also very good on the ball.

“He comes into contention for next week. We now have four strikers who are all competing for places in the team.”

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