HARTLEPOOL United have bossed the first 45 minutes but find themselves trailing 1-0 at half-time.
The opening goal arrived on 15 minutes courtesy of Jeff Hughes and it is his strike which separates the sides after an entertaining period.
It was Pools – fielding debutants Matty Dolan and Michael Duckworth - who started with more purpose and Jack Comtpon showed his marker a clean pair of heels before dropping a cross onto the forehead of Steve Howard.
The striker managed to steer his nod back across goal but Nathan Pond was well positioned to hack clear from the line.
Visiting goalkeeper Scott Davies was then drawn into a save when Dolan took aim from 25 yards, the custodian using his chest to block as the midfielder’s effort skipped up off the greasy surface.
And so it was that the opener came against the run of play, Antoni Sarcevic’s shot having too much zip for Scott Flinders to gather and Hughes was on hand to follow up and bundle home from two yards.
But Pools refused to surrender despite that concession and Brad Walker whistled wide with a classy drive from range.
James Poole was next to chance his luck with a snap shot from a half-cleared corner but again the hosts failed to trouble Davies.