Chester 1 Hartlepool United 1: Draw does little to lighten mood on the park after Pools' takeover dream dies off it

Hartlepool United were robbed of their first National League win since November by a late Harry White cracker.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 8:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 9:00 pm
Michael Woods wheels away after scoring the opener.

After the collapse of Pools potential takeover by multi-millionaire property magnate Chris Musgrave, Poolies were hopeful that the lads on the park could at least give them something to cheer on it.

They didn't. Yet another chance to stretch away from the relegation zone was passed up when Michael Woods unexpected opener was cancelled out 13 minutes from time.

Despite criticism of his team at the weekend, manager Craig Harrison decided to stick with the players who were brushed aside by Wrexham.

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To be honest, looking at the bench, he had very little option.

The one tweak to the side was the formation - with Harrison reverting to a 4-4-2, with Devante Rodney supporting Jake Cassidy up top.

As expected, it had little impact.

Off field issues are overshadowing matters on the park and it is showing, week after week.

Rodney had one crack at goal from 25 yards and Lewis Hawkins flicked a meaningless effort on target but Pools did very little to threaten Sam Hornby in the Chester goal.

And to be honest in the opening 45 they had Scott Loach to thank for going in at the break goalless.

In the space of three minutes the former Watford man made four saves, three of which were from point blank range to deny the hosts a deserved opener.

Things didn't really get much better for Pools after the break.

Backwards, sideways passing - a less than redeeming trait of this side this season - crept in. Pools could have five up front, never mind two, and they'd not look like scoring, simply because the midfield do not seem to have a forward thought in their armory.

That was until the 62nd minute.

The ball broke kindly for Cassidy after a strong run and he squared to Woods, on a rare jaunt forward, and the midfielder slotted into an empty net from close range.

But that lead lasted for just 15 minutes.

And when White sauntered through a few surrendering tackles from the likes of Louis Laing, he hammered past a helpless Loach, who could nothing about the venomous strike which made it 1-1.

With just eight minutes to go Tomi Adeloye had a chance to win it. He was set away by a hopeful ball forward but having rounded the keeper he dawdled in getting his shot away and the Chester backline snuffed out the opportunity.

And that's the way it ended. Another must win goes begging. The performance and effort levels were better but Pools have still not won a game since November 21. That run had lasted too long on Saturday, it's becoming unaccpetable now.

There's only so many opportunities to right wrongs you can pass by. Time is running out for this team, and there seems to be very little they can do about it.