MATCH REPORT: Hartlepool United 1 Hull City 1

GOAL: Jonathan Franks
GOAL: Jonathan Franks

HARTLEPOOL United maintained their unbeaten run at home during pre-season with a solid display against Championship side Hull City.

Less than 1,000 fans saw Pools draw 1-1 with Hull at Victoria Park this afternoon.

Tricky winger Jonathan Franks opened the scoring for Pools with a fine strike before Cameron Stewart equalised after a fumble by keeper Scott Flinders.

It maintains Pools’ unbeaten run at home in pre-season to three games, ahead of the visit of Newcastle United on Tuesday night.

Neale Cooper named an unchanged side from the two previous games against neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

The Scot continued with new signing Steve Howard paired alongside Luke James up front, with two banks of four behind them.

A sparse crowd of just 900 watched the tie against a strong Hull team, managed by former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce.

The first half, which lacked the intensity of the two previous friendlies both on and off the pitch, was devoid of any real chances.

Both Neil Austin and Evan Horwood had good chances to open the scoring for the home side but fired high over the bar.

Meanwhile Jonathan Franks’ ambitious effort to lob the stranded Hull City keeper Eldin Jakupovic from 30 yards in the 19th minute came to nothing.

Hull then had two good chances to take the lead through danger men Sone Aluko and then Cameron Stewart.

But both wingers fired wide and Pools keeper Scott Flinders made it through to the break with his clean sheet intact.

The second half saw Bruce make three changes at the break and his side started with more purpose but it was Pools that took the lead in the 58th minute.

Good work down the left flank from Horwood gave Andy Monkhouse the perfect opportunity to cross towards Howard on the edge of the six-yard box

He nodded it down to former Middlesbrough star Franks, whose fine half-volley took a slight deflection as it powered into the back of the net past the hapless Jakupovic.

The goal reignited Pools and they continued to press in search of a second and they almost got it courtesy of a free-kick from Horwood but his effort sailed a foot wide of the right-hand post, with Jakupovic stranded.

It wasn’t long though before Hull drew level on 72 minutes.

Jamie Devitt’s fierce long-range strike was spilled by Flinders and pacy winger Cameron Stewart was on hand to tap it home and level the score.

The rest of the game petered out but it was another solid performance from Pools ahead of the new campaign.

Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Franks (Luscombe 77), Walton, Sweeney (Murray 68), Monkhouse, James (Porritt 68), Howard (Poole 68).

Subs Not Used: Baldwin, Holden, McHugh (gk).

Hull: Jakupovic, Bruce, (Dudgeon 46) Dawson (Townsend 52), McKenna (Devitt 67), Faye (Bradley 46), Cooper, Stewart, Cairney, McLean (Simpson 72), Koren (Fryatt 46), Aluko (Proschwitz 57).

Subs Not Used: Oxley, East, Cullen, Simpson.

Attendance: 900 (84 Hull City)

Referee: Nigel Miller (Co Durham)