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Swindon Town 1 Hartlepool United 1
HARTLEPOOL United’s new-found spirit earned them a point at Swindon. The home side could have gone top of League One with victory, but Andy Monkhouse’s second-half leveller earned Pools a deserved draw.
It now means Pools are unbeaten in four away games, taking eight points from a possible 12 on the road.
On Tuesday they meet second-bottom Portsmouth at Victoria Park, meaning Pools could be off the bottom at last.
They were under the cosh in the opening half, as Swindon chased, closed down and harassed Pools throughout.
And Pools were thankful to be going in at the break only one down.
They were behind on 15 minutes when the home side launched a swift and clinical counter attack from one end of the pitch to the other, which resulted in Simon Ferry sweeping home.
Pools had few first-half openings, Charlie Wyke had a shot saved by Wes Foderingham, but it was mainly about defending.
At the start of the second half, Pools keeper Scott Flinders made three superb saves in the space of a minute to keep his side in it, blocking a close range Rooney header before diving across goal to paw away a Gary Roberts drive.
The blocks were top-drawer and kept Pools in it. They were passing the ball around with some authority and starting to frustrate the home side.
Jon Franks bounced a shot at goal that was kept out by Wes Foderingham and a minute later, Pools were level.
As they penned the Robins back, Simon Walton’s deft ball found Ritchie Humphreys out wide and he picked out Evan Horwood at the back post.
His nod down found Andy Monkhouse, who got there ahead of Charlie Wyke to prod in from close range, scoring for the second time at his former club.
From then on, Pools defended well and with authority to see the game out, the only scare coming in injury time as James Collins miskicked in front of goal and Flinders smothered.
SWINDON TOWN: Foderingham; Thompson, Flint, Ward, McCormack; De Vita, Ferry, Miller, Roberts; Williams, Rooney (J Collins 69). Subs: Bedwell (gk), McEverley, Navarro, Storey, Oakley.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders; Austin, S Collins, Hartley, Horwood; Walton, Humphreys, Baldwin; Poole (Monkhouse 63), Franks (James 83); Wyke (Luscombe 83). Subs: McHugh (gk), Rutherford, Richards, Holden.
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