Hard-earned point but still Pools regrets
WOKING HARTLEPOOL 1 1
ONE point gained or two points dropped?
It’s difficult to know how Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison will truly feel about their Woking draw.
Having taken the lead in the 26th minute courtesy of former Newcastle United forward Ryan Donaldson, Pools looked to be cruising towards yet another impressive away day win, following on from their Leyton Orient triumph earlier this month.
But, having put in an almost pass perfect 45 on their travels, they were hit with a sucker punch on the stroke of halftime as Jamie Philpott guided home to square things up.
And that’s the way it stayed as Pools missed out on the chance to edge into the top half for the first time this season.
After a bright opening from the home side, in which Scott Loach was called into action to deny Philpot an opener, Pools caught their hosts on the break.
Wideman Donaldson ghosted in at the back post just before the half hour to guide home a Jonathan Franks cross.
Pools were inches away from making it 2-0 soon after when Liam Donnelly flicked a sumptuous Nicky Deverdics delivery past the far post.
Totally in control Pools looked head and shoulders above Woking, who, with a win, could have climbed to second in the table.
But despite taking the game by the scruff of the neck, Pools showed their frailties of old two minutes into added time as a cross from the right was diverted home by Philpot, against the run of play.
And with that the balance of play again switched, with Woking peppering Loach’s goal into the second period.
Wanting to inject some fresh impetus Pools turned to Devante Rodney and Rhys Oates off the bench and the former almost won it for the visitors late on when he diverted a long ball past keeper Nathan Baxter and on to the post.
At the other end, Inih Effiong hammered a rising effort off the underside of Loach’s bar from close range with the last kick of the game as Pools survived.
“I am never happy with just a point,” said boss Harrison. “If you look at it Woking have got the best home record in the league, so we have to be pleased.
“They are one point off the top and while we are never satisfied, as we did not win, given the circumstances we will take a point.”