Pools will need a replay with Salford City if they are to progress into the Third Round of the FA Cup after drawing 1-1 at Moor Lane this evening.
It was a disappointing performance from Ronnie Moore's men who failed to turn it on this evening and allowed the hosts to boss large spells of the game.
Salford were at Pools from kick off, starting brightly and full of energy, while Pools took a while to get going and never quite found that level,
It was a frantic start as the hosts battled forward and the Pools back line stuck in the challenges to clear the ball back up field.
But on eight minutes, birthday boy Rhys Oates took matters into his own hands and gave his side an early lift.
The forward burst down the left channel, leaving a number of red shirts in his wake to force his way into the area, where a combination of both central defenders brought him to the ground.
The referee, who seemed a reluctant decision-maker for much of the night, showed no hesitation on this occasion as he pointed to the spot. Oates stepped up to take the kick and capped his 21st birthday with a calm effort into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
The goal did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of Salford City though and they were soon back up the other end of the pitch causing problems around the box.
Trevor Carson made a good save from a corner, before Chris Lynch headed another wide of target.
But Salford’s pressure paid off on 23 minutes when Pools failed to deal with a freekick into the box and Steve O’Halloran swept in to send it past Carson to equalise.
Pools were struggling to make anything stick going forward and every ball cleared out of defence seemed to come straight back towards Carson’s goal.
It was a frustrating first half for Mikael Mandron, as the ball just failed to fall for him, while Scott Fenwick struggled to get into the game and saw little of the ball.
Anything that Pools did create going forward came down the right, with only Michael Duckworth and Rhys Oates offering any kind of spark for Moore’s side.
Pools had a couple of half-chances just before the break as Mandron saw a header from a corner hit the angle and Oates turned and shot wide after good work by Duckworth.
The teams went in level at half-time with Ronnie Moore no doubt preparing some strong words for his team at the break.
It took a while again for Pools to get going but the introduction of Rakish Bingham gave a new option up front it was his cross that created the first real chance of the half; a cross in from the left found Jake Gray running in on goal only for the on-loan midfielder to see his shot well-saved by Jay Lynch.
Pools looked more convincing by this point but Salford remained a threat and did not let their energy levels dip.
Jake Gray lost out again to Jay Lynch inside the box as he was denied with a shot from close range and Bingham should have restored his side’s lead after being set up by Magnay who headed into his path with just the keeper to beat – but sent his header over the bar.
Scott Burton sent a fierce drive at goal from outside the box but Carson was equal to the effort and collected at the first attempt.
Adam Jackson impressed again at the back for Pools; the young defender was kept busy throughout the game but showed a real calm approach in his play and was solid alongside Matthew Bates this evening.
And it was a good job as Pools had a lot of defending to do on a night when Moore’s side failed to take control of the game.
Carson pulled off another good save to deny Chris Lynch who tried another blast from distance – this time the Pools keeper got up to tip it over the bar but it was another close call for Pools.
With ten minutes remaining, Pools were pinned back in their own half once more as a determined Salford refused to give in and Moore’s side could find no respite at the other end.
Carson collected a James Poole poke at goal before Pools broke up field and had another good chance on goal; this time it was Scott Fenwick who sent his header the wrong way when he had only Lynch to beat.
Full Time: Salford City 1 Pools 1
Booked: Carroll (87)
Salford City: J Lynch, C Lynch, O’Halloran, Stopforth, Howson, Dawson, Hardcastle, Burton, Webber (Hulme 79), Allen (Mwasile 83), Poole.
Subs Not Used: Dootson, Giverin, Moses.
Pools: Carson, Duckworth, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Magnay, Gray, Oates (Walker 86), Mandron (Bingham 55), Fenwick.
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Jones, Nearney, Harrison, Smith.