Pools Reserves took a point from an entertaining and highly competitive game against Hull City at Billingham Town on Wednesday night.
Two young sides produced some absorbing fare under the lights at Bedford Terrace and the 1-1 scoreline probably just about did justice to the balance of play and opportunities.
The first chance of the game fell Pools’ way as Zak Boagey was alert to intercept a wayward pass from the Hull centre-back to race forward and feed Greg Rutherford but the striker was always stretching to shoot and his effort went just too high.
Jim Provett – in to the side in place of the injured Andy Rafferty – had his first taste of the action when he finger-tipped over a rising long-range shot from City forward James Armstrong.
Nialle Rodney used his pace to power away from a pack of visiting defenders to earn a sight of goal but his shot with the outside of his right foot was blocked by keeper Joe Cracknell.
Provett had to be on his toes again to palm away a free-kick from Conor Henderson, while Armstrong could have done better when he got on the end of a good Hull move down the left only to strike his effort wastefully wide.
Pools were thankful to Provett again moments later when the keeper got down quickly to his right to push another goalbound effort away from Jack Barlow away from danger.
However, with little over ten minutes of the first half remaining City made the most of some slack defending when Armstrong pounced on a poor pass from Kieran Green to curl a lovely effort past Provett and in to the top-left corner of the net.
Lewis Hawkins struck an effort too high before Jordan Richards produced Pools’ best effort of the half when his curling free-kick from twenty yards was clawed away by Cracknell.
Green’s thunderbolt from long range seemed to be heading on target before it was bravely blocked by a defender as Pools finished the first period well on top.
City almost doubled their lead early in the second half after more slick football down the left saw the ball delivered right on to the head of Gedo but he sent his effort just wide of the upright.
And it proved a costly miss as Pools levelled just prior to the hour mark when Jonny Wright showed great vision to float a delightful ball in to the box where Dan Jones got up highest to nod a looping header over Cracknell and in to the net.
Ben Wignall almost introduced his arrival from the bench in spectacular fashion when he won the ball twenty-five yards from goal but his drive was always on the rise and beat the bar.
Provett had to make another brilliant save fifteen minutes from time to ensure the point for Pools though they could have snatched all three at the death had Green’s drive not flashed just too high.
Full Time: Pools 1 Hull City 1
Pools: Provett, Richards, Holden, Green, Rowbotham, Jones, Boagey, Wright (Wignall 63), Rodney (Smith 76), Rutherford (Wood 80), Hawkins.
Subs not used: Dawson, Nellis.
Hull City: Cracknell, Topliss, Clark (Dixon 78), Wilson, Clappison (O’Connor 82), Aimson, Barlow (Chambers 63), Henderson, Gedo, Armstrong, McElroy.
Watson, Dawson.Subs not used: