HALF-TIME REPORT: Torquay United 0 Hartlepool United 0

Colin Cooper looking on against York City .Photograph by FRANK REID

Colin Cooper looking on against York City .Photograph by FRANK REID

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HARTLEPOOL United survived an early onslaught but again struggled to create at the other end of the park as the opening 45 minutes ended goalless at Plainmoor.

Torquay should have been in front inside 15 seconds when David Ball escaped in the area before drawing back for Lee Mansell, unmarked just eight yards out.

He connected first time but was denied the early opener by the bravery of Neil Austin, throwing his body on the line to block inside the goalmouth.

The game wasn’t even two minutes old by the time Jordan Chapell had then tested Scott Flinders with a low drill from range and Karl Hawley then headed over at the near post.

Hawley was soon measuring another effort on goal when cutting infield from the left, this time seeing a right-footed swipe drift wide.

Steve Howard left the field for five minutes for treatment on a cut above his eye following a clash with Krystian Pearce, and the Pools man soon sought retribution, catching the home centre-back with a stray elbow just moments after his reintroduction.

Referee Oliver Langford, however, ignored the offence.

But the striker was in the book just moments later following a trip on Pearce, his caution arriving much to the delight of the home crowd.

Derby County loanee Ball was providing the nuisance factor for the hosts in the final third and his wriggle and subsequent curler from 20 yards narrowly evaded the top corner of Scott Flinders’ goal.

The half drew to a close without score meaning Colin Cooper’s men have now gone nearly seven hours without a goal in League Two.