Pools Clinch Point Against Barrow

Ryan Donaldson, Hartlepool United v Barrow

Gavan Holohan and Ryan Donaldson both scored as Pools twice came from behind to claim a point against high-flying Barrow at Victoria Park on Saturday.

Pools boss Dave Challinor had opted to make five changes to his starting eleven following the Boxing Day defeat at Harrogate and switched to a three at the back to match their promotion-chasing visitors.

The first half proved a tightly-contested affair with neither side having too much in the way of clear-cut chances, though Donaldson nodded an effort wide early on and Gime Toure’s curler was off-target.

At the other end the influential John Rooney struck a couple of efforts just wide of the goal, while Scott Quigley wasted a good chance for Barrow when he blazed over after barging his way in to a good position on the edge of the area.

The game burst in to life in the second half as the visitors went in front inside a minute of the restart when Lewis Hardcastle’s drive proved too hot to handle for Ben Killip and squirmed in to the net.

However, Pools responded quickly and were back on level terms on 55 minutes when Gavan Holohan planted a crisp drive in to the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Pools then looked the more likely scorers and Fraser Kerr saw a header held by the keeper after getting on the end of Mark Shelton’s teasing free-kick from the left.

Shelton himself went close moments later but his powerful shot was deflected wide before Gary Liddle nodded over from close range from the resultant corner as Pools pressed.

However,  Barrow escaped on the counter to restore their lead midway through the second half thanks to Dior Angus’ clinical finish against the run of play.

Challinor’s men rallied again though and snatched a deserved point when Holohan turned provider, crossing deep to Ryan Donaldson who nodded in the second equaliser 14 minutes from time.

Full Time: Pools 2 Barrow 2.

Pools: Killip, Kioso, Liddle, Shelton, Richardson (Kitching 83), Kerr, Featherstone, Holohan, Donaldson, Toure, Kabamba (Hamilton 85).
Subs not used: Raynes, Mafuta, Hawkes.

Booked: Kioso, Richardson, Toure.

Barrow: Dixon, Brough (Dyson 70), Hird, Platt, Brown, Barry, White, Hardcastle, Rooney, Angus (Hindle 80), Quigley (Harrison 73).
Subs not used: Taylor, Greaves.

Attendance: 3,790 (255 Barrow).

Referee: Joe Hull.