Hartlepool players struggling - like the club - to find a heartbeat
Hartlepool United Football Club is on life support.
There’s no cash in the coffers.
No white knight waiting in the wings.
Hope is evaporating fast and the immediate future looks bleak.
All told, football seems inconsequential.
But, as we all know, there was a game last night. And to be honest, it did little to inspire any confidence in what has the potential to turn into the final few weeks at Pools will be anything but abject.
This team is sinking like a ship - a ship where someone forgot to pay the captain and the rudder has been sold for scrap.
Pools drew by the way. They weren’t all that bad either, they’ve played a lot worse and won this season - although not often.
Craig Harrison, whose hands have been tied by a transfer embargo placed on the club by the National League due to the club’s financial position, decided to stick with the players who were brushed aside by Wrexham.
And 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.
Pools saw plenty ball early doors but did little with it. Where have we seen that one before?
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.
It must not be forgotten that while Pools have massive financial concerns, the Blues are also hanging over the edge of a cash-crisis cliff.
Put simply, they don’t have the money to see the season out.
We could be saying exactly the same about Pools in the next few days, should nothing on the takeover front materialise.
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 still not score, simply because the midfield do not seem to have a forward thought in their armoury.
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. 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.
This was better but it still wasn’t good enough against a team who can barely buy a win.
Given matters away from the football pitch, this could end up being the final incarnation of Hartlepool United, and their worst custodians of the famous blue and white shirt.
What a sad, sobering thought.