THIS local derby didn’t have the atmosphere of a friendly match as Spennymoor Town were 1-0 winners over Hartlepool United in a highly competitive and physical game at the Brewery Field.

The two teams produced an engrossing and close contest with the game at times getting overly testy for a friendly match.

Pools were forced into an early change with trialist striker Mark Cullen going off injured in the first five minutes to be replaced by another trialist preventing Dave Challinor from having a proper look at the former Port Vale man.

The first goal came just nine minutes in from the home side. Frank Mulhern was not letting anyone get the better of him as he rose highest to glance his header past the flapping Ben Killip from a Ryan Hall cross.

The pendulum swing in there favour for the next 20 minutes and Pools, made up of trialists and first-team players, didn’t have an answer.

There wasn’t an awful lots of further chances in the first half, trialist 6 glance a header of the top of the bar from a Reagan Ogle cross for Pools while Rob Ramshaw tested the fingertips of Killip with a firm shot from the edge of the box for Spennymoor.

Greg Abbott gave Killip something to think about with a low drive on the edge of the box but in reality it trickled around two yards wide of the post.

Spenny were happy to sit in and soak up the pressure while Pools needed to wake up for the second half.

Mulhern was ready to test Killip once again in the 50th minute with a knuckleball free-kick that forced the Pools goalkeeper to deal with the danger and tip over the bar.

Despite the fact that it was a friendly, the two teams were getting a bit testy with each other. Neill Byrne kneed Rob Ramshaw in the back and then the Spenny midfielder left out his frustrations by swiping at Timi Odusina.

Dave Challinor run the changes in on the hour mark bringing on his tried and trusted talent and their experience told immediately. David Ferguson’s whipped left footed cross found trialist 18 in the box but his smart first time finish was ruled out for offside.

Ramshaw should have put the game to bed fifteen minutes from time when John Lufudu’s long busting run down the right beat a number of players. His cutback found Ramshaw with the goal at his mercy but he blazed over from 12 yards. Moments later, Mulhern and David Ferguson were squaring up because of an altercation on that side of the pitch.

Gavan Holohan caused problems in the second half. He carved out a one-two with Josh MacDonald on the right hand side and found some room on the edge of the box but his left-footed strike flashed wide of the right-hand post. It was unlucky from the Irishman.

Trialist 18 found himself in behind the defence for a one-on-one but his scuffed strike trickled wide of the post.

All in all it was a good contest with plenty of challenges thrown in from both sides. Pools will reap the benefits of a sterner pre-season test while Spennymoor have looked fit and strong in pre-season drawing with League One Sunderland and now beating League Two opposition.