Hartlepool Utd 1 Tranmere Rovers 1

HARTLEPOOL United conceded a late equaliser to be denied all three points against Tranmere Rovers at Victoria Park.

Pools took the lead when midfielder Antony Sweeney swept home following Sam Collins’ flick-on in the 14th minute.

United have several chances to make the game safe with second-half substitute Denis Behan striking the bar from 35 yards.

But just nine minutes from time Rovers’ Dale Jennings tapped in after Pools’ keeper Andy Rafferty parried Enoch Showumni’s shot.

Pools started brightly with striker Adam Boyd having an effort on goal from inside the box that just went wide.

But it was that man again Sweeney who found the back of the net from inside the six-yard box to steer the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal after Collins’ flick on.

Pools looked comfortable throughout the first half and went into the interval with their 1-0 lead intact.

Rovers huffed and puffed throughout the second-half but never really threatened Andy Rafferty in the Pools goal.

Michael Mackay enjoyed a rare run out up front with Adam Boyd before the pair were replaced by Denis Behan and Colin Larkin on 67 minutes.

And Behan almost become the hero when his 35-yard thunderbolt rattled the Rovers’ bar with the keeper well beaten.

But it wasn’t to be for Pools as Rafferty saved well from Showumni’s shot only for Jennings to react first to the ball in the box to equalise.

Hartlepool: Rafferty, Rowbotham, Collins, Hartley, Holden (Horwood 71), McSweeney, Gamble, Sweeney, Monkhouse, Mackay (Behan 68), Boyd (Larkin 68). Subs Not Used: Flinders, Humphreys, Yantorno, Haslam. Goals: Sweeney 14.

Tranmere: Warner, Kay, Goodison, McChrystal, Bakayogo (Jennings 68), Akins (McGurk 68), Welsh, Taylor, Weir (Robinson 60), Cresswell, Showunmi. Subs Not Used: Coughlin, Wood, Blanchard, Fraughan. Booked: Taylor. Goals: Jennings 81.

Att: 2,969 Ref: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire).