AN INJURY-TIME goal ensured yesterday's Hartlepool v Darlington derby at Victoria Park ended all square.

Quakers' teenage striker John Alexander netted in the closing stages to secure a 2-2 draw in the Pontin's Holiday League Cup preliminary group tie. Pool have already beaten Bradford and York in the competition, while Quakers beat Bradford in their one cup tie.

Both sides included plenty of first-team experience and it was Pool striker Marcus Richardson who squandered two early chances. Danny Mellanby almost touched home Chris Hughes' cross and, from an identical ball into the area, this time from Mellanby, Mark Convery touched the ball against a post.

But he put the visitors in front on the half-hour mark. Ian Clark and Gary Pearson combined on the right and Convery volleyed past Pool's Greek goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos. Clark then went into the book for a foul on Paul Robinson before Pool drew level, through defender Andy Jordan. He volleyed in from ten yards after a Robinson shot bounced into his path. Just after the break, Martin Scott's side went in front. Jermaine Easter crossed from the right and Tony Sweeney's header went in despite the best efforts of keeper Michael Price.

Price, likely to be back in the Quakers' first-team for Saturday's trip to Swansea after Ross Turnbull was called into the England under-20 squad for the World Youth Championship in Dubai, then made a one-handed stop to keep out Daniel Fox.

David McGurk skied a glorious chance over the bar from six yards and at the other end, substitute Andrew Appleby missed the chance to clinch the win when he missed from six yards.

But deep into stoppage time Alexander, a half-time substitute for Mellanby, raced beyond Jordan and when his shot was kept out by Konstantopoulos he collected the rebound to net. The teams meet again next Wednesday in the league. Pool: Konstantopoulos, Bass, Barron (N Wilkinson 80), Jordan, M Robinson, Easter, Sweeney, McCann, Fox (Turnbull 70), P Robinson (Appleby 70), Richardson. Subs (not used): Winter, Richards.

Quakers: Price, Pearson, McGurk, Kelly, Mason, Bossy, Hughes (Mendum 81), Coghlan, Convery, Mellanby (Alexander 46), Clark. Subs (not used): Collins, O'Shea, Norton.

Result: Hartlepool United reserves 2 Darlington reserves 2.

Carlisle boss Paul Simpson yesterday put nine players on the transfer list. The Cumbrians will accept permanent or loan deals for Des Byrne, Craig Farrell, Michael Jack, Darren Kelly, Steve Livingstone, David Lynn, John Slaven, Mark Summerbell and former Tow Law striker Brian Wake.