HARTLEPOOL United ended the season in 16th position in League One as they signed off with a goalless draw at Charlton Athletic.
Mick Wadsworth’s men could have climbed as many as five places with victory at The Valley and the Pools boss refrained from mass change for the curtain call.
But defensive stalwart Peter Hartley was caught napping early on, allowing Bradley Wright-Phillips to dash clear and he came within a lick of paint of breaking the deadlock as a deft chip beat Scott Flinders but not the crossbar.
Left-winger Callum Harriott was enjoying his first senior start for the hosts and he came close to celebrating with a goal on 16 minutes, a vicious 12-yard strike almost ripping through the side-netting of Flinders’ goal.
It was all Charlton and Flinders had to be on his guard to keep out Miguel Llera’s daisy-cutter of a free-kick from 25 yards soon after.
The game had been far from spiky but it came to life on 31 minutes when Gary Liddle and Jose Semedo clattered into one another, sparking a 10-man tussle.
The result was yellows for both Liddle and Semedo and Neil Austin, who had charged 40 yards to make his point known.
That was the main talking point from an otherwise sedate first half which drew to a goalless conclusion.
Wright-Phillips, as he did early in the opening period, went close to finding that breakthrough within seconds of the restart, Flinders forced into a fine, finger-tipped save to keep out a 20-yard drive.
And the Pools stopper was called into action soon after, this time dropping low to gather and hold after Semedo had headed Michael Stewart’s flag-kick towards the bottom corner.
Pools hadn’t mustered a single effort at goal until skipper Sam Collins, defying his burly frame, swiveled inside the area and struck the crossbar with a cute, curling effort from 12 yards on 54 minutes.
Evan Horwood and Andy Monkhouse both then saw penalty-box shots blocked before reaching Rob Elliot in the Charlton goal as the visitors enjoyed a period of attacking pressure.
But it was at the other end where the woodwork was again tested, left-back Federico Bessone shuddering the crossbar with a 20-yard blast on 77 minutes.
Pools substitute James Brown tried to locate a late winner but the game petered out into a somewhat predictable stalemate.
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Sweeney, Gamble (Boyd 86), Liddle, Monkhouse, Larkin (McSweeney 64), Yantorno (Brown 55)
Subs n/u: Rafferty, Humphreys, Johnson, Behan
Charlton Athletic: Elliot, Llera, Semedo, Wagstaff (Eccleston 76), Wright-Phillips, Stewart, Benson, Solly, Bessone, Fortune (Doherty 30), Harriott (Racon 68)
Subs n/u: Sullivan, Francis, Nouble, Parrett.