Pools and Woking put on an entertaining show for the BT Sport cameras at The Vic this evening.
But the teams had to settle for a point each, with Liam Noble scoring from the spot for Pools and Paul Hodges firing in the leveller in the second half.
There was a frantic opening to the game, with the first fifteen minutes played out a real high tempo and the action flipping from one end to the other.
Jake Hyde was first in to try his luck as he sent a header wide of target, while Gime Toure bursts forward to set up Jason Kennedy with the shot but his effort was blocked.
Toure was next to cause a stir as he twisted and turned to leave two Woking men on the floor only to see his shot blocked, before Liam Noble saw his follow-up also stopped by the visitors.
Aaron Cunningham put in a real challenge to deny Kane Ferdinand’s shot after a quick break upfield by Woking. The resulting corner was headed onto the crossbar and over.
With just over ten minutes on the clock, Woking were again cursing the woodwork as a freekick in from the right went through a crowd only to hit against the base of the opposite post before Pools cleared.
Toby Edser had the ball in the back of the net for the visitors on the quarter-hour mark but the raised flag of the assistant ruled that effort out for offside.
With the pace easing a little, the chances were less frequent for a spell and Pools’ next real chance came on 24 minutes when Cunningham sent a lovely diagonal ball across to Peter Kioso, who headed first time in the path of Noble. And the midfielder’s cross into the box was blocked out to win a corner for Pools.
After dealing well with a spell of pressure from Woking, Pools asked more questions going forward as the half neared an end and a Noble cross in from the right found Donaldson who sent his shot high over the bar under pressure from the defender.
With the half about to come to a close, one final push from Hignett’s side lead to the opener; with a Woking player ruled to have handled the ball under pressure from Kioso, the referee awarded a spot kick. Liam Noble stepped up to take it and showed typical composure to smash it past Ross and into the back of the net to give his side the lead going into the break.
Jason Kennedy went close to making it 2-0 just after the re-start when he showed a lovely first touch and strike to sent a teasing effort towards the far post; but with the keeper beat, his shot went just wide of target.
More trickery from Toure down the right opened things up again for Pools and his cross to the far post found Mark Kitching arriving into the area he sent his volleyed effort over the bar.
With both teams looking a threat on the attack, the game had the potential to go either way; Toure and Donaldson were full of running for Pools and caused real problems for the visiting defence.
Woking broke well in numbers and were a threat from set pieces with some real height in their team but Pools defended strongly.
A Pools corner created some pressure in the box, with Toure again causing problems and Mafuta adding his presence to the attack. Liam Noble had the final shot on goal, but watched it go just over the bar from the edge of the box.
Woking finally found their breakthrough on 80 minutes and it was a great strike from lively sub Paul Hodges who smashed an effort across Killip and into the far side of his goal to make it 1-1.
With the tempo right back up, Pools were soon back on the attack as Toure forced his way into the box with just Ross to beat but his shot was well-saved by the Woking stopper.
There was a good save at the other end as Killip got down to block the shot after more good work from the tricky Tyrese Johnson down the left.
Gime Toure hit the post after latching onto a great cross in from Kioso in the dying minutes as Pools looked to re-take the lead.
In the team, the two teams had to settle for a point each as time ran out in what was a really entertaining clash under the floodlights here at The Vic.
Full Time: Pools 1 Woking 1
Attendance: 3429 (101 Woking)
Booked: Donaldson (67), Noble (81)
Pools: Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Raynes, Cunningham, Kitching, Mafuta, Noble (Featherstone 84), Kennedy (Holohan 90), Donaldson, Toure.
Subs Not Used: Bale, Kabamba, James.
Woking: Ross, Casey, Cook, Diarra, Gerring, Edser (Hodges 67), Ferdinand, Poku, Hyde, Tarpey, Johnson.
Subs Not Used: Hughes, Parry, Collier, Meite.