HARTLEPOOL UNITED boss Dave Challinor thinks his players have started an important week positively after fighting back to earn a point against a promotion rival.

Goalkeeper Ben Killip saved a penalty as Hartlepool held on for a point at Boreham Wood to maintain their hopes of a play-off spot.

The home side got off to the perfect start, opening the scoring inside the first minute as Kabongo Tshimanga slammed in the loose ball after Killip had pushed Matt Rhead's header against the post.

Tyrone Marsh should have made it 2-0 as he headed inches wide from a corner, but Wood had goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore to thank for preserving their half-time lead as he kept out a Mark Shelton effort.

Hartlepool equalised in the opening moments of the second half as Gime Toure rifled home, and the game stayed level as Boreham Wood's Sorba Thomas saw a penalty saved by Killip.

Mark Ricketts rattled the woodwork with a thumping drive and Marsh had an effort ruled out for offside with ten minutes remaining but Wood could not find a winner.

It was Toure’s first goal of 2020 and one that saw him win a bet with Hartlepool goalkeeper coach Ross Turnbull.

“He’s got himself a pair of boots to boot,” said Pools boss Challinor.

”Ross was down at Chelsea last week and got some boots and told Gime if he scored he could have them. Ross offered him a deal before the game and he’ll be delighted!

“He took his goal well. With forward players, if you’ve had a bit of a rut in terms of goalscoring, you want to get on a run and that's his first from open play since November so hopefully that will do him the world of good and now he can go on a run in terms of getting some goals.”

Hartlepool head into tomorrow's trip to Solihull Moors three points off the final play-off spot.

Challinor was thankful to Killip for the penalty save to deny Sorba Thomas.

And he said: “It’s a difficult place to come against a side with a good record and deservedly so.

“We were obviously looking to win but if I’d been offered a point at half-time, I probably would have taken it.

“Second half, they have a penalty that gets saved and we have a stonewall penalty that doesn’t get given so those are the margins.

“I was disappointed with our first-half performance but second-half we got what we deserved.

“If the decision goes the other way then we have a penalty and a chance to go and win the game. If I’d been offered four points from Notts County and Boreham Wood I’d be satisfied and now we’ve still got a chance to make it seven from nine at Solihull.”

HARTLEPOOL: Killip; Liddle, Odusina, Donaldson, Featherstone, Kitching, Shelton, Molyneux (Hawkes 52), Southam, Harker (Holohan 70), Toure. Subs (not used): Mafuta, Keena, Anderson.