Marlon Harewood scores 80th minute equaliser to give Pools a point against Accrington Stanley at The Vic this evening.
It was a disappointing first half from Pools in a game that was so important as Accrington dominated from start to finish.
Pools looked nervous and the tension was evident both on and off the pitch, with the players struggling to string passes together and create anything that really lifted the crowd.
The visitors looked more composed and much more positive going forward, with Pools spending the majority of the first half looking at ways to clear the danger.
And, with the Pools’ nerves on show, Stanley used this to their advantage to up the pressure and for a spell of the first half, David Mirfin was forced to clear a succession of balls sent up into the box.
With 18 minutes on the clock, Pools got close enough to goal for Jordan Hugill to try his luck with an ambitious strike but he sent the shot high over the bar.
With Pools forced back for much of the opening half, a goal for Accrington seemed more likely than not. While they were doing little to test Scott Flinders, they were getting closer with each attack.
Just before the half-hour mark, Pools made a real push forward inspired by Scott Harrison who had come up from the back to join the attack. The move eventually lead to a cross in from Aaron Tshibola which Jonathan Franks met with the header but he sent it wide of target.
At the other end, Tshibola was caught out just outside the box allowing Josh Windass through to shoot on goal. His strike went over the bar but it was another warning for Moore’s side.
With 39 minutes on the clock and just as Pools had shown a brief glimpse of positivity, Accrington Stanley made their pressure count.
A mix-up between Mirfin and Dan Jones once again set up Windass to shoot and this time he made no mistake with a great strike that left Flinders with no chance as it hit the top corner.
Pools finished the first half poorly, with no real reaction to going a goal behind and Ronnie Moore will have been waiting for the half-time whistle to give his team a lift for the second forty-five minutes.
Moore made an instant impression on the second half, introducing Scott Fenwick and Jordan Jones to the action.
And Pools started the second half strongly, with a chance for Jordan Hugill inside the first minute. His shot went over the bar but it set a positive tone to lift the crowd from the start.
A Jonathan Franks freekick picked out David Mirfin who headed past the keeper only to be denied on the line by the defender.
Moore’s side did keep up the pressure in the early stages of the second half, with Jordan Jones making his mark down the left wing and Fenwick proving a handful in the box.
There was much more of a battle in the Pools display in the second half, which was mirrored off the pitch as the fans upped the atmosphere.
Hugill and Fenwick were linking up well and started the cause the visiting defence problems but with 20 minutes remaining, Pools still hadn’t found that crucial breakthrough.
Scott Flinders pulled off a great block to deny Accrington a second on 72 minutes before Scott Harrison arrived to head the loose ball off the line.
After a bright start to the half by Pools, Accrington edged their way back into it and Pools were faced with more pressure at the other end.
Mirfin put in a decent block inside the box and Harrison followed up by denying Maguire with a strong challenge inside the area.
Moore showed the determination by adding a third striker in Marlon Harewood alongside Fenwick and Hugill for the final 15 minutes as Pools looked for the crucial breakthrough.
And Harewood made an almost instant impression on the game by scoring the equaliser on 80 minutes; a great reverse ball from Dan Jones set namesake Jordan running to the by-line. His cross picked out Harewood in prime position to thunder a header past Scott Davies to make it 1-1.
Accrington Stanley reacted brightly to Pools' equaliser and put Moore's side under pressure again at the back for much of the remainder of the game.
There was a great chance for Pools late in the game as Neil Austin sent a great ball into the box where Scott Fenwick met it five yards out on goal but sent his effort high over the bar.
And so it finished 1-1, with the point enough to keep Pools out of the bottom three with three fixtures to play.
Full Time: Pools 1 Accrington Stanley 1
Attendance: 4159 (40 Accrington Stanley)
Booked: Harrison (43), Hawkins (45), Hugill (52), Fenwick (59)
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth (J Jones 46), Harrison, Mirfin, D Jones, Austin, Featherstone, Tshibola, Hawkins (Fenwick 46), Franks (Harewood 77), Hugill.
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Richards, Waker, Nelson-Addy.
Accrington Stanley: Davies, Buxton (Liddle 65), Joyce, Jones, Windass (Winnard 86), Mingoia, Hunt, Maguire, Bruna (McCartan 57), Atkinson, Conneely.
Subs Not Used: Warner, Naismith, Gilchrist, Barry.