Hartlepool United’s wait for a first league win this season goes on after Keith Curle’s reign started with a 0-0 draw at the Suit Direct Stadium.
After a slow start, Pools saw the first big chance of the game fall their way. Mika Ndjoli beat his man down the left and fired the ball across, but Umerah couldn’t make solid contact and the ball spun behind. McDonald, Sylla, and Shelton were controlling the midfield as new interim manager Curle watched on, while Ferguson’s crosses kept the Gills defence on their toes.
A chance went Gillingham’s way just after the half-hour mark, but Adelakun’s left-footed swinger was nowhere near Ben Killip’s goal. Another chance followed 10 minutes later, Ben Reeves collected the ball in the box, but Lacey’s last-minute block prevented it reaching the goal. As halftime beckoned, Pools fashioned the best chance so far. Ndjoli worked the ball out to McDonald, but his fizzing cross and Tumilty’s follow up were both blocked.
Seconds before the half-time whistle, Wes McDonald skipped past three defenders and saw an effort cleared off the line, but the first half ended goalless.
Chances at both ends went begging as the second half begun, with Tumilty prodding wide for Curle’s side. A clash of heads saw Niang replaced just before the half-hour mark, while Callum Cooke also came on to replace Josh Umerah after the latter’s first-half booking. A huge chance went Pools’ way in the 63rd minute as Tumilty’s cross was met by Ndjoli, but his header was tipped over the bar by Morris.
Further changes followed, with Hamilton and Oduour entering the fray, and Cooke struck a volley just wide moments later. Cooke almost got Hamilton in behind, but a last-gasp tackle denied him before a follow-up strike from Shelton was charged down.
As we entered the final five minutes, a slick passing move almost got the goal that Pools craved. Quick feet from Sylla, Hamilton, and Oduor saw the on-loan Barnsley attacker almost squeeze a shot through, but Morris made a big save.
In seven minutes of added time, Pools had a huge chance as Sylla almost connected with Tumility’s cross, but it was turned behind before he could slide home.
It’s another point on the board for Pools and they turn their attention towards Mansfield Town this coming Friday.
Pools XI: Killip; Niang (Menayese 58), Lacey (Oduor 69), Murray, Ferguson; Tumilty, Sylla, Shelton, McDonald; Ndjoli (Hamilton 69), Umerah (Cooke 55)
Unused Subs: Letheren, Hastie, Grey
Booked: Umerah (45)