Pools P-P-Pick Up A Point At Crawley
Andy Monkhouse scored twice as penguin-powered Pools ended the 2012/13 season with a creditable 2-2 draw against Crawley Town at The Broadfield Stadium.
Almost 150 fans dressed as penguins saw the winger first score a wonderful looping header to cancel out Town's opener before sublimely lobbing the keeper to put John Hughes men in front - only for the hosts to level in the last minute.
It was a game which took a while to get going and a largely forgettable first half was punctuated with very few clear-cut chances; Monkhouse sent a warning shot to the home side when he fired just over from twenty-five yards and then curled another effort straight at keeper Paul Jones.
Jamie Proctor was denied by a fine block on the line by Sam Collins after the striker attempted to divert Nicky Adams cross goalwards, while Mike Jones stuck the base of the post with a long-range drive with Flinders beaten.
Jonathan Franks had the first effort of a more open second half but saw his strike held by Jones, before Monkhouse again fired on goal this time denied by a good finger-tip save from the home keeper.
Flinders had to be quick out to the feet of Josh Simpson after he was played in by Adams, while at the other end Neil Austin drilled an effort on goal which was held by the keeper and Simon Walton also tested him with a thirty-yard volley.
The breakthrough came for Crawley with twenty minutes remaining when a wonderful turn by Billy Clarke bought him some space to drive forward and feed Simpson who tucked it back across goal for Proctor to fire home from close range.
The home crowd sensed their team would go on and take the game away from Pools but Hughes' battlers produced a response full of character and roared back in to it within five minutes.
Luke James chased down a long thrown in to the left side of the penalty area and skilfully looped the ball back across goal for Monkhouse who headed a ball over the despairing drive of Jones and in to the top corner.
And within four minutes Pools sent the ecstatic penguins in to further raptures when James somehow climbed above the central defenders to flick on Flinders' long clearance for Monkhouse who deftly lifted it over the keeper with one touch and in to the net in front of the celebrating Poolies.
When Jones shot from the left corner of the penalty area came back to safety off the post it seemed as if Pools would become only the sixth side to leave The Broadfield Stadium this season.
However, with just a minute left on the clock Proctor found himself in space inside the area and his powerful drive picked up a deflection to wrong foot Flinders and find the bottom corner of the net.
It was harsh on Pools as a win would have been just reward for the wonderful travelling support but they went home happy enough to have p-p-picked up a point!
Full Time: Crawley 2 Pools 2
4100 (417 Pools) Att:
Monkhouse (18), Baldwin (31) - Crawley Town: Connolly (54) Booked:
Maddison, Dumbuya, Essam, Torres, Sparrow, Elford-Alliyu, Hayes Subs Not Used:
P Jones, Sadler, Connolly, Walsh, Hunt, Clarke, Simpson, Bulman (Sparrow 67), Adams, M Jones, Proctor
Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Holden, Walton, Humphreys (Hawkins 88), Baldwin (Horwood 71), Franks, Monkhouse, James (Rutherford 82)Pools:
Rafferty, Luscombe, Rowbotham, BoageySubs Not Used: