HARTLEPOOL United and York City played out a goalless draw bereft of quality as neither goalkeeper was drawn into a save at Bootham Crescent this afternoon.
Colin Cooper’s Pools side remain without a goal in League Two but did collect their first point of the new season at the third attempt.
The Pools boss recalled Steve Howard for the northern derby and the striker was at the heart of the action early on.
The visitors were denied what looked a blatant penalty when Howard, forcing his way into the area, was tripped by Chris Smith on eight minutes.
Referee David Phillips awarded the foul but deemed the offence to have taken place on the fringe of the box.
Simon Walton’s subsequent free-kick was duly cleared and York survived.
But Howard was lucky to stay on the pitch on 27 minutes when his stray arm connected with Ben Davies, leaving the defender in a heap on the turf.
Phillips, though, produced only yellow.
From the resulting deadball a hopeful clip into the Pools area caused panic and Neil Austin saved Jack Baldwin the despair of an own goal as he recovered to hack from the line after his team-mate’s header had skipped towards the open target.
It wasn’t until the 37th minute that Pools fashioned a clear-cut chance at the other end, Andy Monkhouse’s throughball freeing James Poole and his first-time hook skidded inches wide of the far post.
The second-half proved as scrappy as the first and the Pools fans behind the home goal had to wait until 65 minutes before seeing their team enjoy a sight at goal.
Brad Walker broke down the right and squared for Jack Compton but, with the whole goal to aim at, he lashed horribly wide from 12 yards.
Lanre Oyebanjo tried his luck for the hosts from distance but could only send a daisy-cutter zipping wide.
Pools finished much the stronger and Monkhouse, from Compton’s deep centre, saw his downward header cleared from the goalmouth with Michael Ingham beaten.
But that was as close as either side came as a poor game duly drew to an inevitable conclusion.