HARTLEPOOL United could not get the better of League Two’s bottom club as Oldham Athletic held Pools top a 0-0 draw at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Pools had the best of the play, including 16 corners, in front of a 5,000-plus New Year’s Day crowd though the Latics had some glorious chance of their own to pinch it.
Pools boss Graeme Lee made three changes to his first starting XI of the new year.
Gavan Holohan returned to the side which meant a resumption for the ‘Wolfpack’ alongside skipper Nicky Featherstone and Mark Shelton.
There was a new frontline with Tyler Burey making his first start for four months, alongside fit-again Jordan Cook, whose club debut came in the away Oldham fixture in September.
Burey looked lively from the off, causing a flutter or two in the Latics backline and drawing fouls from Harrison McGahey and Jordan Clarke who were booked.
Cook went wide with a 15th-minute shot but hobbled off just after the half-hour mark which brought Luke Molyneux on to the park.
All that was missing in the first half for Pools was a goal.
David Ferguson brought a diving save from Jason Leutwiler who got down low to his left to turn away the wing-back’s long-ranger.
Holohan went closest when his powerful shot thumped back off the keeper’s left-hand post, while Molyneux fired a left-footer just off target after good work by Jamie Sterry.
For all Oldham were outplayed in the first 45 minutes, they had two of the best openings.
Davis Keiller-Dunn wasted an open-goal opportunity by clipping the bar after being gifted the ball by Timi Odusina early on and late in the half, Jamie Bowden saw a shot deflected wide.
Pools started the second half brightly, winning two corners in quick succession, and from the second should have gone in front but Shelton drove his shot wide.
Two minutes later, another chance went begging when Ferguson found himself in on goal only to thump his effort against the keeper's right post.
The Latics had an opportunity in the 57th minute Pools allow Hopcutt all the time he wants to turn but fortunately his shot is too high
Pools were soon back on top with Burey’s angled drive going wide before Holohan had the next three opportunities.
First he headed wide from Molyneux’s cross before being wide and then high from efforts from outside the area.
The Irish midfielder came close to a late winner, only to be denied by a great save.
Oldham had four late opportunities of their own to snatch the points,
Killip made a crucial low save from Hopcutt before fellow sub Stobbs puts his shot wide at the Town End.
Hallam Hope curled one wide while sub Dylan Bahamboula flashed an attempt wide in stoppage time.
Pools: Killip; Byrne, Liddle, Odusina; Sterry, Featherstone, Shelton Holohan, Ferguson; Cook (Molyneux 33), Burey
Subs (not used): Boyes, Francis-Angol, Daly, Crawford, Grey, Olomola
Oldham: Leutwiler; Clarke (Stobbs 41), Piergianni, McGahey, Hart; Whelan, Bowden, Diarra; Adams, Hope, Dunn. Subs (not used): Rogers, Couto, Bahamboula, Vaughan, Hopcutt, Turner
Booked: McGahey 6, Clarke 38, Hart 45
Referee: Darren Handley
Attendance: 5,026 (away 381)