March 23, 2013
Pools slump to the bottom
Hartlepool slipped to the bottom of the table after a flat and uninspiring goalless home draw with Walsall.
Pools have now gone six games without a goal, while Walsall missed the spark of top scorer Will Grigg and remain three points off the play-offs.
On a bleak North-East day, the windy conditions never made for an appalling game and so it proved.
The wind almost gifted the Saddlers an eighth-minute goal when Andy Taylor's corner held up in the gale and Pools goalkeeper Scott Flinders got to his near post to push the ball away.
At the other end, Pools went close when Simon Walton drove wide from 18 yards, before Neil Austin's cross on the overlap saw debutant Saddlers goalkeeper Sam Johnstone make a fine diving save to keep out Antony Sweeney's header.
Walsall had a late chance to win it when Walton gave away possession to set up a swift counter-attack, but Jamie Paterson's shot was charged down by a pack of home defenders.
|1 Scott Flinders||28 Sam Johnstone|
|5 Sam Collins||25 James Chambers|
|2 Neil Austin||4 Andy Butler|
|6 Evan Horwood||26 Andy Taylor|
|29 Peter Hartley||22 Paul Downing|
|11 Andy Monkhouse||7 Adam Chambers|
|3 Ritchie Humphreys||6 Nicky Featherstone|
|15 Antony Sweeney||27 Sam Mantom|
|8 Simon Walton||10 Jamie Paterson|
|7 Jonathan Franks||29 Craig Westcarr|
|39 Steve Howard||12 Febian Brandy|
|31 Adam McHugh||Liam Roberts 31|
|22 Darren Holden||Dean Holden 5|
|14 Nathan Luscombe||Ben Purkiss 14|
|28 Lewis Hawkins||Malvind Benning 20|
|17 Greg Rutherford||Ashley Hemmings 11|
|33 Luke James||James Baxendale 24|
|36 Charlie Wyke||George Bowerman 17|
|Luke James for Jonathan Franks (71)||Ashley Hemmings for Nicky Featherstone (65)|
|Charlie Wyke for Steve Howard (79)||Ben Purkiss for James Chambers (72)|
|George Bowerman for Craig Westcarr (79)|
|Craig Westcarr (38)|
|· Squads: Hartlepool United | Walsall|