Pools dug deep in front of a bumper crowd at The Breyer Group Stadium to claim a point from a goalless draw with rivals Leyton Orient.
The hosts’ offer of Football for a Fiver attracted a large attendance and also drew an outstanding 600 fans from the North-East which all made for a memorable occasion in East London.
In the end the spoils were shared despite Orient being reduced to ten men just before the hour-mark when Joe Widdowson lunged in on Michael Woods leaving the referee with little option but to brandish the red card.
Matthew Bates opted to keep faith with the same side which started in last week’s 2-0 win over Boreham Wood, though Myles Anderson missed out through injury and Kenton Richardson returned to the bench.
The home side attempted to get on the front foot in the early stages and feed off the intense pre-match atmosphere, knocking the ball around with tempo and closing Pools down whenever the lost possession.
However, Pools kept their discipline and slowly grew in to the game, beginning to pose a threat when Niko Muir and Luke James linked-up to cause some problems for Justin Edinburgh’s high-flying outfit.
Peter Kioso and Muir both had efforts on goal, while Orient for the most part were restricted to shots from long-range, James Dayton twice firing over the bar when in space twenty-five yards out.
James showed typical tenacity to emerge from a tangle with Marvin Ekpiteta in possession of the ball but, after driving in towards the edge of the area, he screwed his shot well wide of the target.
Orient almost carved Pools open down the left after seizing on a mistake on the halfway line which allowed James Brophy to charge in to space to lay a ball across to Macauley Bonne whose intelligent touch gave Craig Clay the chance to shoot but he sent his effort too high.
The home side looked to start the second half at high tempo and they could have gone in front when Brophy drove at Kioso and sent a low ball across the box but nobody in red was close enough to apply the finishing touch and Pools escaped.
Then came the flashpoint as Widdowson took a heavy touch on the halfway line and went lunging in to try and regain possession, only to catch Woods very late. The referee consulted with his linesman before sending off the Orient full-back.
Pools looked to take advantage of the extra man with a little period of pressure which earned them a corner but, when Carl Magnay nodded the delivery back across goal, nobody could force it on target and Orient cleared.
The home crowd seemed galvanized by the red card and they raised the volume a few notches, which helped the hosts raise their game and get back on the front foot despite being a man light.
Skipper Jobi McAnuf sent a free-kick close from twenty-two yards, while James Alabi drew a smart save from Scott Loach after finding space on the right side of the penalty area.
Brophy was wasteful when he snatched at a shot and sent it wide when he got in to a similar area in the box moments later and then Loach had to be alert to tip Alabi’s close-range header over after a dangerous free-kick delivery.
The introduction of Josh Hawkes provided a little spark for Pools and he brilliantly jinked his way in to space in the left of the box but his low ball across was intercepted as Orient looked stretched.
Fellow substitute Marcus Dinanga could have had a decisive say late on when he let fly from outside the area to force keeper Dean Brill in to a full-length save before Conor Newton kept the attack alive but saw his drilled shot somehow stay out thanks to a combination of Brill and his post.
Orient pressed during a nervy six minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game but Pools held firm in the face of a flurry of late corners to secure a second consecutive clean sheet and a very useful point on the road.
Full Time: Leyton Orient 0 Pools 0
Attendance: 6,877 (594 Pools)
Booked: Kioso (25), Magnay (58), Woods (63), Davies (75)
Leyton Orient: Brill, Judd (Ling 72), Coulson, Ekpiteta, Widdowson, McAnuff, Brophy (Koroma 72), Clay, Dayton (Harrold 80), Alabi, Bonne.
Subs Not Used: Sargeant, Lawless.
Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Davies, Magnay, Kitching, Featherstone, Noble (Newton 88), Woods (Hawkes 81), Muir, James (Dinanga 83).
Subs Not Used: Richardson, Hawkins.