It is likely that Sunderland sent a representative to Victoria Park on Saturday to watch Hartlepool in action against Dover Athletic.
There was vested interest for Sunderland scouts, who could be checking up on reported midfield target Josh Hawkes and loanee Luke Molyneux. And they would have enjoyed what they saw – in the second half, anyway.
Hartlepool trailed 2-0 at half-time but Hawkes bagged a brace and Molyneux scored a dramatic injury time winner to complete a remarkable comeback.
Both of Hawkes’ goals came from the spot within three second half minutes and he showed nerves of steel to fire Hartlepool level.
And Molyneux scored a late winner to seal the three points after coming off the bench at the end of the first half.
Hawkes has recently been linked with Sunderland, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough – along with a few others – as per TEAMtalk.
The talented 20-year-old midfielder took his season tally to seven goals in 23 games to add to his burgeoning reputation and that would have caught the attention of the Black Cats.
Molyneux also showed his parent club what he could do. It has been a strange season for the 20-year-old attacking midfielder, who started by playing four times for the first-team before a September loan move to Gateshead.
During his time with Gateshead, Molyneux scored twice in 16 games but then moved to Hartlepool in January. After scoring his first goal for the Pools, Molyneux will be hoping to kick on and impress Jack Ross with more goals.