TEN-MEN Hartlepool United go into half-time drawing 0-0 against Plymouth Argyle at Victoria Park.
Winger Jack Compton was sent off in the 24th minute for a rash challenge, leaving Colin Cooper with plenty to think about at the break.
Cooper named the same starting 11 for this afternoon’s League Two clash with Plymouth after last weekend saw Pools beat Exeter City 3-0.
Luke James again started up front, with support from James Poole behind him as Pools lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
Sam Collins returned to the bench in place of Darren Holden who was not in the squad, while striker Steve Howard also missed out despite serving his three-match suspension.
It was a scrappy start to the match but Plymouth had the better of the opening chances with Reuben Reid going close in the 4th minute but his effort was blocked after a goalmouth scramble.
Reid was then put through in the 7th minute and he nicked the ball past the onrushing Scott Flinders but Christian Burgess was on hand to tackle the burly front man and shepherd the ball away from danger.
James Poole was booked in the 12th minute for a late challenge on Plymouth’s captain Conor Hourihane and the game burst into life moments later, with Flinders keeping Pools in it with a fine double save.
On-loan Middlesbrough defender Burgess clattered Hourihane on the egde of the 18-yeard box in the 15th minute and Luke Young stepped up to take it.
His initial shot hit the wall but the rebound fell nicely to him and he forced Flinders into a diving save to his left. Flinders then had to be quick on his toes to deny Romauld Boco who was following in.
Pools were then dealt a hammer blow when Jack Compton was given a straight red for a lunge on Jamie Reckord just in front of the home dugout in the 24th minute.
A minute later there was a poignant moment when fans from both sides took part in a minute’s applause in memory of former Pools midfielder Michael Maidens, who tragically died in a car crash six years ago today aged 20.
The popular midfielder wore the number 25 shirt at Pools.
Paul Hayes and Hourihane both had good efforts saved by Flinders as Pools, in a 4-4-1 formation after Compton’s sending off, struggled to stay in the game.
Matty Dolan was then booked for a over zealous challenge in the 33rd minute and Luke Young also entered the referee’s book for wiping out Michael Duckworth in the 37th minute as the right back bombed forward.
Pools hung on to go into the break level.
Pools: Scott Flinders, Michael Duckworth, Jack Baldwin, Christian Burgess, Neil Austin (C), Jack Compton, Simon Walton, Matty Dolan, Andy Monkhouse, James Poole, Luke James.
Subs: Andy Rafferty, Sam Collins, Jonathan Franks, Antony Sweeney, Jordan Richards, Nialle Rodney, Bradley Walker.
Booked: Poole, Dolan.
Sent off: Compton.
Plymouth Argyle: Luke McCormick, Durrell Berry, Maxime Blanchard, Conor Hourihane (C), Romauld Boco, Reuben Reid, Luke Young, Neal Trotman, Curtis Nelson, Paul Hayes, Jamie Reckord.
Subs: Jake Cole, Andre Blackman, Lewis Alessandra, Paul Wotton, Tyle Harvey, Hamza Bencherif, Andewa Gurrieri.
Referee: Scott Mathieson. Assistant Referees: P. Curry. T. Nield.