Gime Toure's wonder goal and Ben Killip's penalty save weren't
enough to see Pools home for three points as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw
Frenchman Toure wriggled in to space to despatch another
brilliant strike on 12 minutes and Killip's superb penalty save from BenWilliamson protected the clean sheet in the second half.
However, Eastleigh found a way through on 71 minutes when skipper
Danny Hollands came to the rescue with a powerful header from a corner tosalvage a point.
Craig Hignett had made one change to his starting eleven as
Aaron Cunningham returned to the defence, while Gavan Holohan was restored to acentral midfield berth.
Pools began the game on the front foot and earned their
first corner inside the first minute though the home defence were able toclear.
The hosts were wasteful in possession in the early stages
and Pools crafted their first opening after good work down the left from Tourebut Gavan Holohan's shot was charged down on the edge of the area.
Hignett's men were in front on 12 minutes when Toure again
produced some brilliance from the left; this time the Frenchman stormed by
Charlie Seaman to the byline before chopping the ball back on to his right foot
and then curling a sumptuous effort across goal and in to the far corner of thenet.
The goal seemed to inspire Pools further and they kept on
pressing for a second goal, with Peter Kioso and Mark Kitching offering goodwidth pushing high from their wing-back roles.
First Kioso and then Jason Kennedy both got to the byline on
the end of good moves but neither could find a green shirt in the congestedpenalty area and Eastleigh cleared.
The Spitfires began to improve as half-time approached but
struggled to find a way of breaching a determined Pools' backline, while there wasalways a threat on the counter-attack.
Eastleigh came out with a bit more fight in the second half but
it was Pools who came close to doubling their lead after more magic from Toure
on the right set up Jason Kennedy but his shot on the turn was well held by MaxStreyjek.
Ben Williamson fired a shot just over via a deflection but
the home side kept the pressure on from the resultant corner and, when Cunningham
felled Rob Atkinson in the box, the referee awarded a penalty. However, Killip
got down brilliantly low to his right and parried away Williamson's spot-kickto keep Pools in front.
There was a let off for Pools just before the hour mark when
some enterprising football saw things open up for Sam Smart but his goalboundshot was excellently cleared off the line by the covering Mark Kitching.
Killip then made another superb save as he once again went
full-length down to his right to fingertip a Cavanagh Miley drive round thepost.
The pressure told from that left wing corner though as Spitfires
skipper Danny Hollands got across his man at the front post to plant a powerfulheader beyond Killip and in to the net off the underside of the bar.
Cunningham was almost the unlikely hero for Pools a few
minutes later when he leaped to send an acrobatic overhead kick on goal whichwas deflected just wide by some desperate defending on the post.
Another slick counter-attack provided Toure with an opportunity
to restore the lead but he slipped as he shot and the ball looped up overStrejek and on to the roof of the net.
Pools had penalty appeals for handball turned down by the
official, while Eastleigh substitute Tom Bearwish struck a sweet half volleyjust over but the sides were forced to settle for a point at the final whistle.
Full Time: Eastleigh 1 Pools 1
Eastleigh: Streyjek, Smart, Partington, Hollands, Green, Atkinson, Seaman (Bearwish 64), Payne, Miley, Barnes (Rendell 76), Williamson (Barnett 60).
Subs not used: Flitney, Scorey.
Booked: Miley (57), Green (80)
Pools: Killip, Kioso, Richardson, Raynes, Cunningham, Kitching, Mafuta, Kennedy, Holohan, Toure (Muir 83), Kabamba (James 72).
Subs not used: Crichlow-Noble, Bale, Hawkes.
Booked: Holohan (49), Richardson (60)
Attendance: 1,838 (107 Poolies)
Referee: Lloyd Wood