Two Own Goals Give Promising Pools A Point
A pair of own goals helped a rejuvenated Hartlepool United side to a point at Brentford.
After the midweek departure of Neale Cooper, caretaker boss Micky Barron shuffled his pack for the trip to Brentford with Evan Horwood and Paul Murray both returning to the starting line-up.
Tuesday's demoralising defeat at Bury look to have been forgotten as Pools dominated the opening 45 minutes.
A string of attacks at the start of the half should have seen the visiting side ahead, yet the first goal came at the other end as Evan Horwood lost possession and allowed the Bees to break into the area where Paul Hayes slotted home.
However, the goal spurred Pools into action and they should have levelled the scores when Ryan Noble broke past the home defence and found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, only to fire his effort straight at Simon Moore.
Antony Sweeney, Pools' man of the match, caused the Bees problems all afternoon and created another golden opportunity when he broke down the right and picked out Ritchie Humphreys in the centre, only to see the veteran fire his effort way off target.
Sweeney finally forced the equaliser after a good ball from the solid Simon Walton picked him out at the byline, Sweeney drove the ball across the goalmouth where it deflected off Harlee Dean and trickled over the goal line.
Pools were dominating the game against a side that had won five of their seven home games this season and Noble spurned another great chance when he headed wide after a Sweeney cross before the Sunderland loanee forced a good save out of Moore in the home goal minutes later.
The home side came out looking much a better outfit at the start of the second half. It came as no surprise when Hayes added his second of the game when he rose highest to nod the ball home at the far post on the hour mark.
Yet despite being in control of the game, the Bees carved out few chances against a solid Pools defence and were made to pay in stoppage time when Hartlepool grabbed a deserved equaliser.
Evan Horwood's corner caused chaos in the box and bounced off Tony Craig to give the visitors a share of the spoils.FT: Brentford 2 Hartlepool 2
Hartlepool: Flinders, Austin, Baldwin, Hartley, Horwood, Sweeney, Murray (Luscombe 77), Walton, Humphreys (Poole 59), Noble, Howard
Subs not used: McHugh, Holden, Collins, Richards, Franks
Brentford: Moore, Forshaw (Adeyemi 84), Craig, Dean (Legge 46), Douglas. Donaldson, Logan, Forrester, Diagouraga, Hayes (Spencer 82), Bidwell
Subs not used: Lee, O'Connor, Barron, Dallas