Hartlepool Utd 0 Bournemouth 0: Point takes Pools into top 10

Hartlepool United extended their unbeaten run to five matches following a dour stalemate with Bournemouth, writes Craig Hope.

The point takes Neale Cooper’s men back up to 10th in League One ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Preston North End.

But this was an afternoon low on temperature and entertainment as both sides struggled to fashion any real clear-cut openings.

As expected, Pools were unchanged from the side which beat Carlisle United a fortnight ago and it was they who started the brighter.

On eight minutes a goalmouth scramble saw both Sam Collins and Andy Monkhouse denied by a pair of last-ditch tackles from Steve Cook.

And keeper Darryl Flahavan had to be on his toes to backpedal and grasp Luke James’ looping header from a Gary Liddle centre on 17 minutes.

But the visitors began to find a foothold in the game and Wesley Thomas lifted a 12-yard effort over the crossbar having been teed up by Marc Pugh’s neat pullback.

And the best chance of a largely uneventful first half saw Cook denied by a well-placed Evan Horwood on the goal-line after he had climbed to power Scott Malone’s corner on target just before the break.

The second half began in much the same subdued manner and only after the hour mark did the game see an effort on goal.

Liddle was wasteful in possession and that allowed Thomas to take aim from 18 yards but his strike dribbled wide of Flinders’ frame.

Thomas did find the target just moments later but a diving Flinders was equal to the 20-yard drive and he clawed around the upright.

With the game drifting towards a predictable outcome substitute Donal McDemott did go close to stealing the points for the southerners when his low blast from distance skidded inches wide of the post.

And there was still time for one last chance for Pools but Peter Hartley could only head straight at Flahavan from Horwood’s free-kick.