In a close-fought game, Hartlepool United fell to a 2-1 defeat at Blyth Spartans. The Spartans, led by Pools legend Michael Nelson went two up through goals from Hickey and O'Donnell, before Featherstone's header halved the deficit.
Pools started the game brightly with Luke Molyneux and Trialist 9 partnering well to stretch the back-three of Blyth. Mark Shelton was also getting involved, making good runs down the right.
Next, it was Blyth's turn to attack. JJ O'Donnell got in down the left but Liddle's block took the sting out of the shot and the Trialist 'keeper held the ball well. The opener came minutes later as Blyth got in behind and the pull-back was crashed in off the crossbar by Jordan Hickey for the hosts.
After the opener, Challinor's side improved and created chances of their own. Mark Shelton saw two half-chances saved, first a volley was held well by Mitchell before the 'keeper got down low to keep out Shelton's low drive.
The Blyth goal was under siege and Molyneux went close to the equaliser but his low, front-post shot was smartly blocked by Mitchell. Pools had the ball in the net just after the half-hour mark, but Trialist 9 was deemed offside and his smart finish was ruled out.
Further pressing from Pools saw half-chances created but the Blyth defence held firm and the hosts reached the interval with their one-goal lead intact.
Pools came out of the traps quickly for the second half with Molyneux looking lively in the final third. Good work down the left from the former Sunderland man almost created a clear opening but Milburn cleared well.
Trialist 9 and Molyneux kept the pressure on, but the first 15 minutes of the half saw Blyth soak up pressure and try to hit Challinor's men on the break.
The introduction of Olomola for Holohan saw a spark and the new signing got straight into the action, battling with the Blyth defence and winning a corner for Pools.
Despite Pools controlling much of the second half, Blyth doubled their lead with 15 minutes to go. A long ball caught Liddle out of position and JJ O'Donnell rounded the veteran defender before firing low past Trialist 1 in the Pools net.
Pools managed to half the deficit not long later. With just over 10 minutes to go, a stray back-pass gave the away side a corner and when Ferguson's deep cross met Featherstone's head, the ball looped past Mitchell and into the far post.
Both sides continued to attack with McKeown looking lively for Blyth and Molyneux continuing to test the home side's defence. As the clock reached 90 minutes, the referee decided he'd seen enough and the final whistle was blown.
Pools' final pre-season game against Dunston takes place on Friday July 30th before the season-opener at home to Crawley Town on August 7th.
Pools XI: Trialist; Sterry, Odusina, Liddle, Trialist, Ferguson; Shelton, Featherstone, Holohan (Olomola 63); Trialist, Molyneux