HARTLEPOOL United started the new year with a point after drawing 3-3 with Harrogate Town in an an end-to-end basement battle.
Alex Pattison gave Town an early lead at the Suit Direct Stadium before Josh Umerah equalised in the last minute of the half.
Pools led twice in the second period through first goals of the season by Mo Sylla and Mark Shelton, but Town levelled one north occasions through Sam Folarin and George Thomson.
With Jamie Sterry injured, Curle sent out a new back four of Shelton, Rollin Menayese, David Ferguson and Reghan Tumilty.
It meant a start for Joe Grey who joined Umerah and Jack Hamilton in attack.
Following a rousing minute’s applause in appreciation for the life of Pele, Pools made a bright start with Grey and Umerah linking nicely and both full-backs getting forward.
But it did not take long for the long-standing Pools problem to resurface.
The home defence disintegrated with Town’s first attack, Pattison finishing neatly past Ben Killip into the Town End net.
There was, however, a good chance to level on 14 minutes when Hamilton shot wide from a good position, having made the chance himself.
The first Pools shot on target arrived on 21 minutes, when Callum Cooke’s grasscutter was saved easily by Pete Jameson following the best home move of the half.
Pools were offering little threat but then, out of nothing, they levelled in the last minute of the half.
Umerah took advantage of some hesitant defending to steal in and fire in the equaliser with his 11th goal of the season and his fourth against Town.
And, sensationally, Pools were 2-1 up 30 seconds into the second half.
Shelton put in a cracking cross from the right which the visitors could not clear and Sylla slotted the ball home in a crowded six-yard box.
However, the home lead lasted only three minutes.
Harrogate counter attack swiftly and Luke Armstrong puts Folarin clean through and the striker does not pass up the opportunity, beating an exposed Killip.
Pattison could and should have had a hat-trick but he was first foiled by a good Killip save before clipping the bar after dancing his way through the defence.
It was end to end stuff and Pools regained the lead in the 672nd-minute with a Shelton special.
Pools were piling on the pressure and Shelton cuts in off the right Luke Molyneux-esque before driving a left-foot shot into Jameson's top-right corner.
It put a spring in the home step and Jameson had to get down low to his left two save a 30-yard Tumilty corker.
But Town were level with a stunning Thomson strike on 72 minutes.
Pools got Harrogate's first corner clear, only as far as the midfielder who hit a screamer in from 20-yards.
Harrogate threatened to take the lead following a corner but Joe Mattock’s header was superbly saved by Killip.
There was a cracking chance for Pools five minutes from time following a brilliant run by Grey, but Umerah could not force the ball home from close range.
Pools: Killip; Shelton, Menayese, Ferguson, Tumilty; Featherstone, Sylla, Cooke (McDonald 80); Grey, Umerah (Missilou 87), Hamilton. Subs (not used): Boyes, Paterson, Darcy, Kitching, Stephenson
Goal: Umerah 45, Sylla 46, Shelton 62
Booked: Umerah 37
Harrogate: Jameson; Ramsay, Burrell, Mattock, Headley; Austerfield, Thomson, Pattison, Austerfield, Muldoon, Armstrong, Folarin.
Subs (not used): Oxley, Hayes, Wright, Frost, McArdle, Horbury, Ilesanmi
Goal: Pattison 4, Folarin 49, Thompson 72
Booked: Ramsay 88
Referee: Marc Edwards
Att: 4,566 (away 180)