Scott Harrison staked his claim for a new contract with Hartlepool United as he bagged the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Northern League Division One side Seaham Red Star.
While their counterparts eased to victory over Guisborough Town, this Pools XI struggled to break down their well-drilled hosts, who took the lead after 17 minutes through Lee Kerr.
While their counterparts eased to victory over Guisborough, this Pools XI struggled to break down their well-drilled hosts.
The visitors couldn’t find a way past home goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook in the first half, as he did well to deny both Rhys Oates and Brad Walker as the League Two side poured forward.
And Pools’ pressure eventually tolled with just over 15 minutes remaining as defender Harrison found the back of the net.
With Craig Hignett’s squad split for the friendly double-header, a handful of first team players were handed starts at Seaham Town Park under the guidance of first-team coach Curtis Fleming.
And one of those players, Carl Magnay, almost handed Pools the lead within four minutes when Darryl Donnelly diverted his cross towards his own goal, only for Newbrook to tip over.
An even better chance presented itself from the resulting corner as Oates was hauled down in the area by Donnelly, but the striker fired the resultant penalty high and wide.
And Pools would come to rue this missed chance as the Star took the lead 17 minutes in when Kerr was on hand to drill home from the edge of the area after the visitors struggled to clear a corner.
The setback merely buoyed Pools, who dominated from there on, with Oates looking lively.
The former Barnsley striker hit the foot of the post with a snapshot from the edge of the area before heading over from close range after Connor Smith’s cross.
Chances continued to flow with Newbrook parrying Josh Laurent’s long-range drive before he single-handedly tipped over Walker’s header from Nicky Deverdics’ pinpoint cross.
Seaham continued to defend valiantly in the second half as they restricted the visitors to half chances and long-range efforts.
Down the other end, Harrison and centre back partner Rob Jones swept up any danger posed by the hosts.
And it was to be Harrison who drew Pools level as he seized on a loose ball inside the area before firing into the roof of the net.
Laurent thought he had given the visitors the lead moments later, but his curling effort from 25 yards was marginally too high.
Red Star managed to see out the remaining minutes in a contest which is likely to give Fleming and Hignett plenty of food for thought as they finalise their squad for the start of the league season.
Seaham Red Star: Shaun Newbrook; Jack Walker (Kieran Galbraith), Darryll Donnelly, David Scorer, Tom Price; Lee Kerr (Ryan Bolam), Paul Gardiner; Robbie Bird (Liam Whitworth), Lee Hetherington (Nicky Kane), Craig Lynch (Luke Proctor); David Paul (Liam McBryde)
Goal: Kerr (17)
Hartlepool United XI: Adam Bartlett; Carl Magnay, Scott Harrison, Rob Jones, Jordan Richards; Brad Walker, Josh Laurent, Nicky Deverdics; Connor Smith (Kenton Richardson), Rhys Oates, Jack Blackford
Subs not used: Nat Skidmore, Josh Nearney, Cameron Metcalfe
Goal: Harrison (74)