All Square Between Pools And Crawley
Pools pick up a point against Crawley Town to make it six league games without defeat.
It was a tight game at The Nothern Gas and Power Stadium and it took two penalties - one for each side - to break through two determined defences.
There was a bright start to the game here between two in-form sides. Crawley Town played some flowing, effective football and made sure the Pools defenders could not rest at all.
Pools offered their own threat going forward and it was again a little bit of Nathan Thomas magic that lead to the opening goal.
The winger cut into the box from the right, nutmegging Andre Blackman on his way, before skipping into the box. Blackman reacted by stretching out and tripping Thomas and Pools were awarded a spot kick.
Thomas, with his run of six goals in as many games firmly in mind, stepped up to take the penalty himself. His shot was well blocked by Glen Morris in the Crawley goal but Lewis Alessandra was the first to react as he ran in to head home to rebound for his first goal for the Club.
After showing what they can do at one end of the pitch, Pools spent much of the remainder of the half showing their strength at the other.
A cross in by former Pools loanee Jason Banton picked out Enzio Boldewijn at the far post but his header hit the post. Toto Nisiala got in well to block the rebound and then, as the threats kept coming, Jimmy Smith sent a third effort crashing against the post.
Scott Harrison got involved as he stole possession away from the feet of the very lively Boldewijn who forced his way into the box before Banton got in to send another effort over the bar.
As the chances kept coming for the determined visitors, Smith had a decent chance from 25 yards out but his effort was well-saved by Adam Bartlett.
Billy Clifford had a chance in the final seconds of the second half to draw his side level as the won a freekick on the very edge of the box but his chance went high and Pools took the lead into the second half.
While it was Crawley who created the more clear cut chances, Pools were solid and organised and matched their opponents with some strong defending and quick counter attacking.
The second half saw both sides enjoy spells of pressure; while Pools enjoyed the early possession, Crawley Town dominated the middle of the half.
There wasn’t the same energy to the second half as we’d seen in the first but there was still some good football on display from both sides.
The equaliser came on 75 minutes as Jake Carroll flattened James Collins as the Town striker waited to collect a cross in from the right.
The experienced Collins stepped up to take the penalty himself and made no mistake as he powered it into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
Pools showed a positive reaction to the equaliser and went close to going back head as an Alessandra corner from the left picked out Nsiala who had rose highest in a crowded box but his header went just wide of the post.
Crawley hadn't settled for the point either and a Billy Clifford strike at the other end cannoned against the bar and bounced back into play and, with Collins reacting quickest, he arrived to tap home. But Scott Harrison had other ideas and somehow managed to send the striker wide with his shot - which earned him a congratulatory hug from Bartlett.
The high tempo returned to the game for the final ten minutes or so - and for the five added minutes - but it finished 1-1. While Pools have still yet to pick up a win at home, the results makes it six games unbeaten in the League for Craig Hignett's side.
Full Time: Pools 1 Crawley Town 1
Attendance: 3693 (72 Crawley Town)
Booked: Carroll (73), Harrison (74)
Pools: Bartlett, Richards, Nsiala, Harrison, Carroll, Deverdics (Green 31 (Paynter 83)), Laurent Hawkins, Alessandra, Amond (Heardman 90), Thomas.
Subs Not Used: Dudzinski, Martin, Pollock, Orrell.
Crawley Town: Morris, Young, Connolly, Boldewijn, Smith, Banton (Bawling 58), Blackman (Arthur 57), Clifford, Collins, McNerney, Djalo.
Subs Not Used: Mersin, Davey, Tajbakhsh, Pappoe.