Pools Pick Up Point At Shrewsbury
Pools picked up a useful point on their first trip to Greenhous Meadow as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Shrewsbury Town.
John Hughes had kept faith with the same eleven that had started the last two games, with Simon Walton fit to take his place in the heart of midfield.
Pools began the game solidly and began to put the hosts under pressure in the early stages as Graham Turner's struggled to get out of first gear.
Steve Howard could have profited from the lively start when he met Jordan Richards' pinpoint cross but saw his header held by keeper Chris Weale.
As the home fans began to grow frustrated, Town set about waking from their slumber and Marvin Morgan stung the palms of Scott Flinders with a shot from the right corner of the penalty area.
The big striker - who scored both the Shrews' goals in the 2-2 draw at The Vic earlier in the season - was at it again moments later when he skipped skilfully in to the box only to be denied by a wonderful Flinders save.
The home side's confidence was visibly growing and they were enjoying more possession - and they made the most of it when Connor Goldson's right-wing cross wasn't dealt with by the Pools defence and Jon Taylor drilled home from ten yards.
It was a blow to Pools but they almost reacted immediately when the ball was fed in to Jonathan Franks on the edge of the area and he turned and drilled a rising shot just over the angle of bar and post with Weale beaten.
Rob Purdie escaped beyond Richards down the left flank to provide another chance for Morgan which he drove wide, while at the other end Richards moved on to Horwood's cross on the right corner of the area but dragged his shot across goal and wide.
Luke Rodgers found enough space to attack down the left moment later and his pinpoint cross found Taylor in all kinds of space eight yards out but he somehow volleyed over the bar, before Howard blazed a speculative long-range effort over the bar after link-up with Charlie Wyke and Franks.
Pools started the second period with intent and could have been on level terms early on when Franks' shot from twenty-five yards skipped up menacingly at Weale who did well to turn it round the post.
And ten minutes after the restart they got their reward for some really positive play when Wyke found enough room to turn on the edge of the area and fire through a crowded box and in to the net for his first senior goal.
It could have got even better for Hughes' side just after when Howard stood up a ball at the back post for Antony Sweeney who looked to have been pulled down by the defender as he prepared to head home. From the resultant short corner, Horwood played a brilliant cross in to the box for Howard but his header was cleared off the line.
Shrews boss Graham Turner responded by making a double change and the introduction of Tom Bradshaw and Stephen McGinn helped them gain a foothold back in the game.
Although they enjoyed more of the possession, clear cut chances were at a premium for Town though skipper Matt Richards perhaps should have done better when he fired over from the edge of the area.
It wasn't until injury time when the hosts really began to up the ante - but keeper Flinders was happy to respond with two fantastic saves to keep Pools in the game.
First the keeper was alert to turn away McAllister's powerful long-range strike but from the resultant corner he had to be at his very best to claw away Bradshaw's goalbound header with a quite incredible right-handed save.
Having put so much effort in to the game and shown the character to come from behind, defeat would have been cruel on Pools - but John Hughes was left to ponder what would have been if his side had been able to keep their foot to the gas after drawing level.
Full Time: Shrewsbury Town 1 Pools 1
Attendance: 5,101 (129 Pools)
Pools: Flinders, Richards, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Walton (Austin 78), Humphreys, Sweeney, Franks, Wyke (Poole 78), Howard.
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Holden, Baldwin, Monkhouse, James.
Shrewsbury Town: Weale, Grandison, Jacobson, Jones, Goldwon, Purdie (McGinn 65), Richards, Taylor, McAllister, Morgan (Summerfield 76), Rodgers (Bradshaw 65)
Subs Not Used: Anyon, Mambo, Gayle, Parry