Hartlepool United 1 Colchester 1: Billy Paynter on the spot for Pools

Never misses from the spot: Billy Paynter equalises for Pools. Picture by FRANK REID
Never misses from the spot: Billy Paynter equalises for Pools. Picture by FRANK REID
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Billy Paynter earned a point for Hartlepool United on the opening day of the League Two season.

The Pools skipper coolly converted a 26th-minute penalty after Nathan Thomas had been chopped down in the box.

Colchester had led in the fourth minute from defender Tom Eastman but the spoils ended shared.

Pools were in trouble in the opening minute, Jake Carroll blocking from Kurtis Guthrie on just 14 seconds.

But the U's didn't have long to wait to take the lead when Toto Nsalia gifted Chrids Porter the ball and Sammie Szmodics was inches away from Trevor Carson's left-stick.

from the resulting corner, the ball fell nicely at the left foot of EASTMAN who fired high into Carson's net.

Pools came back with Amond's shot cleared and Lewis Hawkinjust wide.

But the hosts were level in the 26th minute when Nicky Featherstone, Nathan Thomas and Lewis Alessandra combined for Thomas to burst into the box.

Craig Slater tripped him with referee Paul Tierney pointin to the spot.

PAYNTER stepped up and found the keeper's bottom left corner with Sam Walker diving the wrong way.

Pools could have gone ahead nine minutes from the break, when Thomas crossed from the left only for Amond to blaze over the bar with his left foot.

Just like the first half, the U's were first out of the blocks but Slater and Szmodics were both off target.

But Pools put together a nice 58th-minute move which ended with Tom Lapslie blocking an Alessandra shot.

Colchester remained a threat and Eastman saw his header from a free-kick thud into the turf and bounce over Carson's bar.

And the Essex side squandered a gilt-edged 77th minute chance when sub Dio Sembie-Ferris put Guthrie but the midfielder shot wide.

There was a further scare in the first minute of added time, but Carson saved low to his right from Sembie-Ferris.

FULL-TIME

HARTLEPOOL UNITED 1

COLCHESTER UNITED 1

Pools: Carson, Magnay, Nsiala, Jones, Carroll, Featherstone (Woods 72), Alessandra, Hawkins, Thomas, Amond (Deverdics 77), Paynter (Laurent 87)

Unused Subs: Bartlett, Bates, Richards, Oates

Goal: Paynter 26

Booked Carroll 37

Colchester: Walker, Brindley, Eastman, Prosser, Kinsella, Guthrie, Slater, Lapslie, Wright (Sembie-Ferris 70), Szmodics (Kent 87), Porter (Johnstone 62)

Unused subs: Bransgrove, Loft, Vincent-Young, Bonne

Goal Eastman 4

Referee: Paul Tierney

Att: 4,055 (238 away)