Struggling League One sides Walsall and Hartlepool had to settle for what looked an inevitable draw after a 1-1 stalemate at the Banks's Stadium.
A point apiece means Walsall extend their winless run to 14 games while Hartlepool stretch their sequence without victory to 19 matches - one short of equalling an unwanted club record.
The Pools grabbed the lead against the run of play when a poor back-pass from Ashley Hemmings put home goalkeeper Aaron McCarey in trouble and he tripped Steve Howard, Evan Horwood drilling home the resulting penalty after 27 minutes.
For all their pressure Walsall could not find a way through the visitors' defence until four minutes into the second half when Will Grigg's drive was blocked following a corner and defender Dean Holden struck home the rebound.
The Saddlers had most of the play after as the lively Jamie Paterson fired over, substitute George Bowerman hammered a drive across the face of goal and Febian Brandy shot wide.
It was, however, Hartlepool's first point in the three games since new manager John Hughes took charge.