Boreham Wood 2-2 Hartlepool United – the big talking points as Pools rescue a point despite Ben Killip injury
Hartlepool United stretched their unbeaten run to 13 matches despite a difficult afternoon at Boreham Wood.
Pools twice came from behind as goals from Gavan Holohan and Richie Bennett cancelled out Tyrone Marsh and Corey Whitley’s first half strikes as the match ended 2-2.
Dave Challinor’s side were dealt a blow early on as goalkeeper Ben Killip was forced off through injury as forward Rhys Oates went in goal, keeping a clean sheet.
Challinor named an unchanged line-up and bench from the side that beat Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 on Good Friday.
Despite the quick turnaround, Oates and Luke Armstrong led the line with Holohan, Mark Shelton and Nicky Featherstone as the midfield three.
David Ferguson and Jamie Sterry were the two wing-backs either side of a back three of Timi Odusina, Gary Liddle and Lewis Cass with Killip in goal.
New loan signing Bennett remained on the bench after an encouraging cameo against Dagenham.
Pools went into the game 12 unbeaten while Boreham Wood had drawn each of their last six National League games going into the Easter Monday clash.
Hartlepool suffered an early blow as Boreham Wood top scorer Kabongo Tshimanga showed good feet inside the penalty area to beat Killip and lay the ball off to Marsh who smashed in from eight yards to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Pools have rarely found themselves behind in recent weeks, but responded perfectly. Straight from kick-off, Sterry burst down the right flank and put a low ball into the penalty area which deflected into the path of Holohan to smash home from close range.
It was the Irishman’s third goal in as many games to take his tally to nine for the season.
Moments later, Pools faced a nervous six minute wait as the game was stopped following a clash between Killip and Odusina, leaving both players on the deck.
With no goalkeeper on the bench, Hartlepool were desperate for Killip to continue which he eventually did, albeit in slight discomfort.
It wouldn’t get any better for the Pools goalkeeper either as less than 10-minutes later he was beaten at his near post by a low angled strike from Corey Whitley as the hosts retook the lead.
Challinor was left with no other option but to withdraw the goalkeeper in the first half as Oates went in goal with Bennett coming on up front. Pools a goal down without a recognised goalkeeper on the field – it wasn’t going to be easy.
In spite of their slight disadvantage, Pools came out with plenty of intent in the second half as they pushed for an equaliser.
The visitors were the better side after the break and came so close to levelling things up as a back post header from Gavan Holohan was somehow clawed away by Nathan Ashmore.
Pools continued to push and finally found an equaliser with 12-minutes remaining. Bennett, on his second Pools appearance, rose highest to head Cass’ cross into the back of the net from close range.
Hartlepool now had the momentum and looked to push for a winner that would take them top of the table but unfortunately it never came as they had to settle for another away draw.