Shot-shy York still without any goals
WITH goals in short supply for North-East rivals York and Hartlepool, perhaps it was no surprise that neither side could score.
For Pools it was a first point and clean sheet of the season, for the Minstermen it’s a third successive game without a goal.
Both teams had openings to win it, both showed a lack of cutting edge, and both had efforts cleared off the line.
“We’ve conceded six in two games, if you concede you will lose – so I bought Danny Parslow in to sit in front of the back four and tighten up,’’ said Minstermen boss Nigel Worthington.
“This was a battle, no-one gave much away – it was very competitive and our workrate and commitment was good.
“We need more composure in final third – better passes, or options when we are in good positions.
“This was scrappy but you won’t get silky football in League Two every week.’’
Pools had an early penalty appeal rejected when Steve Howard was felled, but the offence was on the verge of the area.
The Minstermen’s best chance came when a long free-kick from deep sailed over the heads of everyone on the edge of the Pools’ penalty box.
Goalkeeper Scott Flinders had gone walkabout and he was thankful Neil Austin was quick enough to cover and knock the ball off the line.
James Poole fired across goal and wide, but the clearest opening came on 66 minutes.
Pools broke from deep quickly and Jack Compton was in space on the left hand side.
Despite taking a touch to compose himself, he blasted into the 1,747 travelling fans behind the goal.
It was the visitors more likely to find a winner, but they were twice denied.
Darren Holden’s ball towards the far post was headed away from danger, before Andy Monkhouse’s header across goal was hacked away by the impressive Chris Smith.
“Away from home you have to do what is asked and they ticked every box – I was pleased with that aspect,” said Pool manager Colin Cooper.
“And in and out of possession we showed signs of what I want.
“Was there only one team looking threatening and likely to win the game? I think so, but credit to York for defending their area well.
“On the whole to get a point – our first on the board – and come away with a clean sheet is a positive.
“I thought we had a penalty shout early on, then later as well when James Poole was tripped in the area.’’