BEN Killip was the hero as Hartlepool United clinched a 1-1 draw in their final game in the EFL at Stockport County.
Promoted back into the team at Edgeley Park, Killip made a series of brilliant saves, notably a penalty stop from Callum Camps in the fifth minute of injury time.
Camps had given County a first-half lead from the spot, but Pools drew level just after the hour when Callum Cooke scored a stunner from the edge of the box.
John Askey made two changes for his final Pools’ selection of the season.
Killip came in for Jakub Stolarczyk between the sticks while Jamie Sterry was ruled out by illness, so Brendan Kiernan was named at right-back.
And Killip was required early in the match when Pools were asleep at the first corner with Camps given time and room to shoot, but the keeper saved comfortably.
The goalie was required again when he made a superb double save, first from Myles Hippolyte and then Isaac Olaofe.
But having done such great work, he spilled the resulting corner with Fraser Horsfall putting the loose ball into the net.
But Stockport's celebrations were cut short when referee Tom Reeves disallowed the ‘goal’ after consulting with his assistant.
Pools had their first attempt at goal on 21 minutes but skipper Nicky Featherstone's shot from outside the box was straight at Ben Hinchliffe.
Killip was much the busier of the two keepers, saving well from Stretton, but he had little chance when County took a 39th-minute lead.
Camps had shaped to go left but instead went right into the box, where he was tripped by Connor Jennings, giving Mr Reeves an easy decision.
It was Camps who got up to put the spot-kick high into Killip’s top-left corner and this time there was no reprieve.
Pools made a change on the hour, introducing Joe Grey for Kiernan and going to a back four.
And Grey was involved in play straight away, finding Featherstone with a neat pass just outside the area and when the ball was moved into the middle, Cooke smashed a screamer from 20 yards into Hinchliffe's right corner.
Killip came to Pools rescue on 73 minutes with a magnificent piece of keeping when he saved sub Paddy Madden’s shot onto his crossbar from Chris Hussey’s nod down.
And Killip was at it again three minutes later with another tremendous stop after Kyle Knoyle was played in by Madden.
County had appeals for a late penalty waved away by Mr Reeves after Akil Wright went down in the box as Pools defended their goal heroically.
Killip was having a blinder and saved superbly to his right in the second minute of added time from a Camps piledriver.
But he saved, if you pardon the pun, the best til last.
With the Hatters heaping on the pressure on Pools, there were loud appeals for a handball in the fourth minute and on this occasion the referee pointed to the spot.
This time, Camps directed his spot-kick to the other side with Killip diving full length to his right to save it and give Pools a well-deserved point.
Stockport: Hinchliffe; Wright, Horsfall, Lewis (Evans 58); Knoyle, Camps, Croasdale (Collar 83), Hippolyte, Hussey; Olaofe, Stretton (Madden 58).
Subs (not used): Johnson, Byrne, Jaros, Rydel
Goals: Camps 39 pen
Pools: Killip; Dodds, Dolan, Pruti; Kiernan n(Grey 61), Featherstone, Crawford, Cooke, Ferguson; Hamilton, Jennings.
Subs: Stolarczyk, Foran, Darcy, Umerah, Storey, Stephenson
Goals: Cooke 62
Booked: Ferguson 80
Referee: Tom Reeves
Attendance: 10,118 (away 584)