GAVAN HOLOHAN impressed on his debut, as the midfielder earned Hartlepool United a point at Aldershot.

Trailing to a tenth-minute goal, Pools levelled on 80 minutes through Holohan on his first-start.

The Irishman signed a short-term contract until the end of the season and boss Craig Hignett had vowed last week to give him a chance to impress.

That opening in the team came with Liam Noble absent through illness and Holohan made the most of his chance.

“Gavan has done well, he’s been patient and deserved a start. He had an effect on the game and I’m pleased for him,’’ said Hignett.

Twelve months ago, Pools relegated Torquay United to National League South after a 1-1 draw and Aldershot suffered the same fate. The Gulls were promoted back to the National League on Saturday.

The Shots have only won twice since November, but they took the lead when a shot from Bernard Mensah was blocked and Reece Grant tapped in.

Pools had actually started the brighter with Holohan and Nicke Kabamba going close before conceding.

Peter Kioso crossed for Kabamba to head wide, before Pools almost went two-down – Grant missing from close range when it was easier to score.

Pools did get better in the second-half after Nicky Featherstone’s shot was blocked.

Luke James could have scored on the break, and Luke Molyneux went close before Holohan netted.

Hignett added: “I think a draw was fair. First half we were… alright and conceded first again. Score first and we win, but second-half we were in control and created a lot of chances without converting them.

“We need to be a bit more ruthless and we know where we need to get better. The lads tried, put a shift in and kept going. A defeat would have been a travesty.

“the nature of conceding the goal was disappointing. We were on top and comfortable and we didn’t cut out the move and defend well.

“Concede the first goal every game and you are always asking a lot to score two or three every game.

“It’s important we don’t let the season peter out.’’

ALDERSHOT: Mannion; McDonnell (Rowe 85), Howell, Rendell, Bernard, Booty, Mensah, Menayese, Finney, Grant (McDonagh 78), Goodard (Berkeley-Agyepong 85). Subs (not used): Cole, Gallagher.

HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Loach; Kioso, Kerr, Edgar, Kitching; Featherstone, Donaldson, Holohan (Bale 87); Molyneux (Muir 83), James, Kabamba. Subs (not used): Catterick, Anderson, Amos.