Chesterfield 1 Hartlepool United 1: Luke James strike ensures Pools claim away day point

Luke James celebrates scoring his second goal of the season.
Luke James celebrates scoring his second goal of the season.

Hartlepool United claimed their first away point under new boss Richard Money as Luke James' strike ensured their trip to Derbyshire ended in a 1-1 draw.

James' second goal of the season put Pools 1-0 up just before the break, before Bradley Barry volleyed in a late equaliser to ensure a nervy close at the Proact Stadium.

Despite some criticism for his 4-1-4-1 formation from some sections of the fanbase, Money stuck to his guns, leaving Carl Magnay in front of the back four. And he was proved right, as despite its failings at the International Stadium on Boxing Day, the system worked perfectly in Derbyshire with the four of James, Ryan Donaldson, Liam Noble and Josh Hawkes providing chances, shots and movement in abundance.

Money did make three personnel changes from the Gateshead loss, though, with James' recalled, Hawkes brought in and Myles Anderson given a chance to shine in the absence of 'injured' Andrew Davies.

The changes paid dividends as Pools looked night and day from midweek - dominating in terms of possession, field position and chances.

Noble stung the palms of keeper Callum Burton, while Hawkes fired inches wide after good work down the right by Niko Muir.

Despite being on top, Pools did not have the goal to show for their performance - that was until the stroke of half-time.

A jinking run from deep by the influential Noble ended with him slipping in James and the striker, with just one goal to his name at kick-off, doubled his tally with a powerful finish under Burton in the Spireites' goal.

It was no less than Money's men deserved.

The second-half did not live up to the first in terms of intensity from Pools as the hosts had their inevitable spell in the game.

Backs to the wall, Pools could only hold out for so long and following substitute Luke Rawson's contender for miss of the season, after an error by Mark Kitching, the Spireites got their leveller - Barry hammering in to put some gloss on a period of dominance from the home side.

From a position of confidence and comfort, this turned into a bit of a rearguard action for Pools against their managerless opponents.

But, despite failing to do so on so many occasions this campaign, Pools withstood the home assault to claim a valuable point on the road.

Pools actually dropped to 15th due to results elsewhere but remain 13 from the play-offs and nine above the relegation zone.