Barnet 0 Hartlepool 0: Resilient Pools claim away day point

Luke James in action during Pools' 0-0 draw at Barnet on Saturday.
Luke James in action during Pools' 0-0 draw at Barnet on Saturday.

Hartlepool United climbed back into the top half of the National League table with a well-earned away day point at The Hive.

The result - a 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened Barnet - saw Pools climb one place to 12th in the National League table, with 49 points from 39 games.

Manager Craig Hignett made just the one change from the side beaten 4-2 at AFC Fylde in the week, drafting in Liam Noble for Nicky Featherstone.

With conditions again proving difficult, as a wind swirled around The Hive, both sides created chances in a lively opening 45.

Scott Loach had to react sharply to deny Dan Sweeney's goalbound header, before Shaquile Coulthirst hit Pools' post with an effort from the angle, 25 yards from goal.

Anything Loach could do, opposite number Mark Cousins could better - Fraser Kerr fizzed an effort at goal from 30 yards, but the Barnet keeper acrobatically tipped wide to keep the scores level at the break.

Pools, roared on by a very vocal 235 Poolies on the terraces, armed with drum and megaphone, got off to a bright start in the second period as Luke Molyneux went close but they were thankful for the wayward finishing of Coulthirst, causing problems with his pace, at the other end.

A dinked ball to the back post in headed back by Wesley Fonguck, putting it on a plate, with an open goal for Coulthirst, but he somehow passed wide with Loach's goal at his mercy.

Myles Anderson, impressive on the day, hooked a Tarpey effort off the line, after Loach had taken the sting out of the initial effort as Pools weathered a second half storm.

A rare foray forward saw Nicke Kabamba produced an emphatic finish when slipped through by Josh Hawkes but the linesman's flag prevented the on loan frontman, who is close to sealing a permanent deal at the Super 6 Stadium, from adding to his five-goal haul.

And that was the way is stayed, despite a late penalty scare when David Edgar appeared to bring down sub Simeon Akinola but it was deemed a dive, as a solid defensive performance saw Pools claim a clean sheet, so rare of late, and return to the top half of the National League table.