Pools Reserves were forced to settle for a point as Bradford City scored in injury time to rescue a 2-2 draw in the game at Billingham Town on Wednesday evening.John Hewitson's men had looked in control at 2-1 and were the side that seemed most likely to score again, but they paid the price for missing several good chances when City levelled at the death.
Pools had started the game brightly and went in front on eight minutes with a wonderful goal from Lewis Hawkins who drove in to space twenty-five yards out before despatching a beautiful shot right in to the top right-hand corner of the net.
The hosts could - and probably should - have built on the early lead but Darren Holden headed wide after a good cross from Zak Boagey, while Luke James' long-range shot was well-held by Stuart Morrison.
City's best chance of the first period fell to Adam Baker who made the most of a lucky ricochet on the edge of the box but his curling effort was superbly palmed away by Pools keeper Adam McHugh.
Boagey had a chance to double Pools' advantage just after the restart but blazed over, and it proved a costly miss as McHugh misjudged Baker's low cross and Ricardo King was left to fire home in to an empty net.
The impressive Greg Rutherford turned well with the ball after being fed by Dan Jones, but his powerful effort flew just over the bar. It was indicative of the performance in the second half as Pools controlled things and looked dangerous without creating clear-cut opportunities.
However, with fifteen minutes remaining Holden burst forward with purpose down the left and cut the ball back for Hawkins who took a perfect first touch to find space and then placed a lovely finish beyond the keeper to make it 2-1.
And Hawkins almost secured his hat-trick in spectacular fashion when he left fly from distance but unfortunately the ball clipped the top of the cross bar on its way over.
Seconds later though - and with almost the entire three minutes of added on time expired - City broke at the other end and Baker gleefully drilled home from just inside the area to salvage a share of the spoils.
Full Time: Pools 2 Bradford City 2
Pools: McHugh, Rowbotham, Buddle, Jones, Holden, Luscombe (Walker 62), Hawkins, Sweeney (Green 46), Boagey, James (Brown 75), Rutherford.
Subs not used: Tuck, Foden.
Bradford City: Morrison, Hiza, Meredith (Curtis 46), Erangey, Williams, Arundel (Stockdill 58), King (McBurnie 55), Stephenson, Swain, Baker, Bass.
Bentley, Hepworth.Subs not used: