HARTLEPOOL United could only grind out a goalless draw with Leyton Orient in front of another bumper Suit Direct Stadium crowd.
Almost 6,000 came back to the ground after the amazing Papa John’s Trophy semi-final in midweek but Graeme Lee’s side could not get out of first gear.
The Londoners, without a win since December 7, had the better of what few chances came along, with Neill Byrne rescuing the home side with a goal-line clearance after the break.
It was probably understandable the first half was so flat given Wednesday night’s heroics and desperately sad ending.
Pools could not find any rhythm at all while Leyton Orient, who have been on the slide since they hammered the blue and whites 5-0 at Halloween, were not much better.
The Londoners, who have now taken only 13 points since that game, did have their moments early on.
With new boss Richie Wellens in the technical area, the O’s began brightly.
They were awarded a dubious free-kick but the home wall did its job, though there was a scare on 12 minutes when Paul Smyth delivered a perfect ball across the six-yard box but the unmarked Harry Smith could not get on the end of it.
The O’s had another opening on 15 minutes when Ruel Sotirou escaped the attention of Neill Byrne but sent his shot into the Rink End.
It took 35 minutes for Pools to have their first attempt at goal, but Joe White (starting in place of Luke Molyneux) was wide of the keeper's left stick.
The start of the second half was no better and it required a Byrne block on the line from Hector Kypianou.
Ben Killip was brought into action with a sharp save from Smyth and then caught Smith’s long-range header from the corner.
Pools should have been ahead in the 54th minute but Omar Bogle shot weakly straight at the keeper after good work by Mark Shelton.
Lee introduced Molyneux and Marcus Carver in a double change and play brightened a little bit but Lawrence Vigouroux was untroubled in between the away sticks.
Pools: Killip; Sterry, Byrne, Odusina, Featherstone; Crawford (Fletcher 81), Featherstone, Shelton; White (Molyneux 61), Bogle, Grey (Carver 61).
Subs (not used): Bilokapic, Ogle, Liddle, Holohan
Leyton Orient: Vigoouroux; Wood, Beckles, Ray, Thompson; Archibald, Kypianou, Coleman, Sotirou; Smyth (Drinan 67), Smith (Double 83).
Subs (not used): Sargent, Nouble, Khan, Young, Ogie, Obiero
Booked: Kypianou 16, Beckles 45, Sotirou 79
Referee: James Oldham
Att: 5,903 (away 179)