AFC Fylde 3 Hartlepool United 3: Late comeback rescues point for Pools as Raj Singh watches on from the stand

Two late Jake Cassidy and Devante Rodney strikes saw Hartlepool United rescue an unlikely point at Fylde.

Saturday, 17th March 2018, 4:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th March 2018, 4:05 pm
Conor Newton.

A Jordan Tunnicliffe own goal just before the break saw Pools deservedly edge in front only to capitulate after it only to stage a most unlikely comeback.

Two strikes from Andy Bond, the second a cracker, then a late James Hardy winner saw the hosts seemingly ease to three points at the Mill Farm Stadium. But no one told Rodney and Cassidy.

Cassidy netted a goal of the season contender a minute before the end then sub Rodney produced another piece of magic four minutes into added time to ensure Pools did not leave the North West empty-handed.

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Making just the one enforced change, due to Scott Harrison's ban, manager Matthew Bates stuck the team that served him well v Boreham Wood last week.

And the watching Raj Singh, whose takeover of Pools is edging closer, flanked by former boss Craig Hignett, will have been impressed by what they saw from Bates' men early doors.

Striker Cassidy had two gilt-edged chances to open the scoring, one he failed to beat the keeper when put clean through, the other when he fired high and wide when free 12 yards from goal.

Pools, who more than held their own against a side who hammered seven past Aldershot last time out, edged in front five before the break when a searching Blair Adams cross was nodded into his own net by Tunnicliffe.

Up at the break, all was looking rosy for Pools, that was until less than 60 seconds into the second half.

A cross from the left found its way to Bond, who saw his first strike blocked by Liam Donnelly, but hammered in at the second attempt.

While the first goal was very preventable, the second was anything but - Bond cut in from the right and bent in with his right foot into the top corner. Unstoppable.

And within nine second half minutes the game was turned on its head.

It took the home side until the 77th minute to wrap things up. This time it was Hardy who clipped home smartly from close range past the onrushing Scott Loach.

With a minute left on the clock, Cassidy made up for his earlier misses by producing a strike right out the top drawer - finding space 30 yards from goal and smashing in past Jay Lynch.

And if that one was good, Rodney's on 90+4 was even better. Cutting in off the left he cracked a curling effort into the top bin from the edge of the area to send the travelling Poolies behind the goal into raptures.