Pools played out a 1-1 draw with promotion-chasing Brentford in front of the Sky Sports cameras at The Vic this afternoon.
Luke James had put deservedly ahead on 25 minutes but Brentford drew level before the break and neither team could find a winner in the second 45.
After a slightly nervy opening five minutes from Pools, the hosts settled into their game and pushed visitors Brentford with some real pressure.
Luke James, again the main focus for Pools in the final third, was his usual energetic self, chasing every ball and keeping both Harlee Dean and Kevin O’Connor busy.
It was John Hughes’ side who had the first chance of the game Jonathan Franks got on the end of a decent move to turn and shoot on goal but his effort was deflected wide.
Scott Flinders had one save to make up to this point, pushing a Jake Reeves effort over the bar on 23 minutes.
Just a couple of minutes later and Pools took a deserved lead; Luke James picked up possession on the left wing to send it across goal for Jack Baldwin. He fired a powerful strike on goal which was blocked on the line but James reacted quickly with the rebound to send it back on target and past Simon Moore to put his side ahead.
On his next burst forward, James was chopped down by Kevin O’Connor who received a yellow card for his efforts – the resulting freekick was taken by Ritchie Humphreys and won Pools a corner.
The visitors switched things around in order to deal with Pools’ threat and began to enjoy more of the ball.
Ritchie Humphreys had to block from Bradley Wright-Phillips inside the area before Flinders pulled off a great save to deny Jonathan Douglas and then Sam Collins blocked on the line.
But Brentford were more determined and when Marcello Trotta picked up the ball inside the box, he was allowed the space to turn and shoot, and he finished clinically to make it 1-1.
The visitors maintained their more energetic approach after the break and tried to keep the pace of the game high in the early exchanges.
After a lively start to the second half, the game quickly became flat; neither team really looked comfortable or confident and it made for a quiet spell.
Andy Monkhouse was moved p to join Luke James up front and John Hughes looked for his side to add some spark to this second half.
Neil Austin came to the rescue for Pools as Brentford went closest to taking advantage of their possession the right back reacted well to block out the visitors at the far post from a corner kick.
Scott Flinders pulled off a couple of saves to keep things level as Uwe Rosler’s side continued to plug away in search of a winner but Pools were working hard to keep them out – without really threatening much at the other end.
There were a couple of great balls from Jonathan Franks which sailed across the box that could have set Pools up for a winner of their own but no-one was close enough to convert.
But it remained Brentford who looked the more likely to steal the points – Darren Holden had to be strong to keep out Harry Forrester, who was lively for the visitors after his 56th minute introduction.
The visitors showed more desperation as full time approached, throwing everything forward and there were a few nervous moments for Pools at the back.
But a determined display from John Hughes’ side saw them hang on for a point to ensure they did not leave Victoria Park behind for the 2012/13 campaign in defeat.
Att: 3541 (562 Brentford)
Booked: Walton (51)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Holden, Walton, Baldwin, Humphreys (Rutherford 76), Monkhouse, Franks (Horwood 82), James
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Luscombe, Sweeney, Boagey, Hawkins
Brentford: Moore, O’Connor, Dean, Douglas, Trotta (El Alagui 74), Logan, Wright-Phillips, Hodson (Forrester 56), Diagouraga, Reeves (Adeyemi 65), Bidwell
Subs Not Used: Forshaw, Saunders, Dallas, Gounet