An entertaining match at Victoria Park this afternoon ended 0-0 as Pools brought to an end Northampton Town’s ten-game winning run in the league.
Craig Hignett’s side put on a positive, attacking display against the league leaders, dominating for large spells and more than deserved a share of the points from the game.
There was such a fast pace to the first half here at The Vic that you could not take your eyes off the action for a minute.
Northampton Town started the brighter of the teams but Pools were soon proving more than a match.
Lee Martin wriggled his way into the box from the left wing, forced his way past a couple of blue shirts to get a shot away but Trevor Carson showed he was alert as he collected comfortably.
Billy Paynter was first to get involved for Pools on six minutes as he picked out Luke James with a perfectly-weighted cross out to the right wing. James pushed in to try an ambitious strike across goal but saw his shot go wide of the far post.
Jake Carroll put a good cross into the box from the left as Pools looked for an opening, while Nathan Thomas proved a real problem for the visitors as the half progressed.
Pools had two strong shouts for a freekick in the first half; the first saw Jake Gray push into the box from the right only to have his feet swiped from under him as he prepared to shoot. Adam Jackson was the victim in the second; as the defender again got stuck into the attack he was fouled but the official ruled it to be just outside the box and awarded a freekick.
Billy Paynter actually had the ball in the back of the net following the Jackson incident but the official had pulled play back for the freekick.
As Pools finished the first half on top Carl Magnay put a good cross in from the right which picked out Nathan Thomas arriving at the far post but his header back at goal went over the bar.
Thomas, whose pace was a problem for the visitors, burst down the left, leaving his marker in his wake to send another cross into the box but a godo block from Zander Diamond denied Billy Paynter from finishing off the move.
The left winger was back on the ball shortly after as he twisted and turned his way into the area, creating space for himself to try his luck on goal but his effort went high over the bar.
Lee Martin, who was a threat for the visitors, had two late chances to give his side the lead but saw one deflected wide by Featherstone and sent the other wide.
The high tempo of the first half was maintained to the break with plenty of attacking from both teams, though it was Pools who edged it in terms of chances.
And Craig Hignett’s side came out after the break full of the same positivity. Luke James looked to find more space as the second half got underway, and he had a couple of early chances to open the scoring.
James linked well with the lively Jake Gray just inside the area but as the pair looked to turn their move into a goal, Jason Taylor intercepted with dominance to put it out for a corner.
Matthew Bates and Adam Jackson both were strong this afternoon and they had to be as Northampton Town offered a real threat going forward.
Similarly Trevor Carson was a calm influence in goal, collecting a James Collins Volley with relative ease.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, it was the visitors’ turn to enjoy a stronger spell of pressure and there were some nervy moments as crosses came in from both wings to the Pools box.
But Hignett’s men held firm and the game finished all square.
Full Time: Pools 0 Northampton Town 0
Booked: Magnay (67), Walker (86)
Attendance: 4012 (402 Northampton Town)
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Walker (Hawkins 90), Gray, James, Paynter, Thomas (Oates 90).
Subs Not Used: Bartlett, Harrison, Richards, Laurent, Fenwick.
Northampton Town: Smith, Moloney, Taylor, Diamond, Holmes, Buchanan, McDonald (Prosser 28), Collins, Martin (D’Ath 67), Rose, Marquis (Byrom 90).
Subs Not Used: Cresswell, Adams, Hoskins, Clarke.