TWO years ago, Fylde visited Hartlepool United and eased to victory.

Visiting manager, Dave Challinor, said the club had to take its medicine as it adapted to the National League.

This morning that Fylde medicine again leaves a bad taste. 

Ten minutes to go, two goals up, Pools were good value for victory. They conceded twice in as many minutes, throwing away two points. 

Last season’s play-off finalists were second best, Pools on top as a pair of fine finishes from Gime Toure put them in command.

 “I’m scratching my head wondering how we’ve not won. They are a good side and our game plan worked a treat,’’ said Craig Hignett. 

“We were comfortable, two-up, and limiting them. Last ten minutes see the game out, a foul on Mark Kitching and it’s not given, cross comes in and their lad is offside as it’s touched to him. How they (officials) don’t see it I don’t know.

”At 2-2 we still had chances to win and should have scored. Countless chances to put the game to bed. 

“Second goal is disappointing, looped a header over and those are the things going against us.’’

Pools took an early lead, with a goal that will take some beating all season.

Toure picked up possession on the left side of the area, cut inside and lobbed a sumptuous finish high over James Montgomery. The keeper didn’t even bother moving for it, such was its accuracy.

A thumping goal kick from Ben Killip at the other end gave Toure a sniff of a swift second, the bounce of the ball taking it away from him as he raced in. 
The visitors hit back with three half chances. 

They were allowed plenty of possession, but Pools’ back line – three centre-halves with the wing-backs tucked in – stood firm and were organised. 

A swift Pools break brought some respite, but the game was lacking in first-half pace. 

Michael Raynes was leading at the back for Pools, organising and cajoling. He was enjoying the battle with Danny Rowe, the visiting striker who appeared disinterested in the second-half amid talk of him being on his way to Solihull. 

Pools had a scare as a cross from Nick Haughton hit the post. Ben Killip dived and got his foot stuck in the goal, like a fish trapped in a North Sea trawler net. 

He couldn’t free his boot as the ball stayed in and around the penalty area. 

When the goalkeeper, in his orange kit, escaped the trappings, Pools had cleared. 

At the other end, a low shot from Niko Muir crashed against the inside of the post and out. 
Pools switched to 4-5-1 for the second half, and they added a second with a fine counter attack.

Aaron Cunningham, now at right back, won a fine tackle in his own area. Ryan Donaldson broke, Nicky Featherstone took possession and swept a glorious pass for Toure. 

He tricked his way into the area, again picking his spot over and around Montgomery.
Pools were quick to the ball, full of energy and effort. 

But they conceded with ten minutes to go, Ryan Croasedale bundling in from close range to meet knock on from a right-sided cross after Mark Kitching was robbed of possession in a move which infuriated Hignett. 

And within seconds the lead had gone, this time Croasedale sending a looping header over Killip. 

The whole outlook changed within minutes, and from nothing. Pools were on top, then they were only level.

Last season Gareth Rhodes had two stinkers at Victoria Park. Last night, the referee was fine until remembering in the second-half just how bad he can be and he booked Hignett like he did last time around.

In injury time, Niko Muir glanced a header wide. He should have scored. 

Pools should have had the game won already, without relying on a late opening like that.