Poor 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 appealing 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.