Background
Match Report

Hartlepool 2 Town 2

Callum Howe's 90th minute equaliser saw Town record a second successive 2-2 draw after an entertaining clash with Hartlepool at Victoria Park.

After a first half in which both stoppers were in fine form to keep the score goallless, Niko Muir broke the deadlock eight minutes after the restart from close range.

Although Dom Knowles had levelled seven minutes later, finishing off Josh Falkingham's low cross, Jake Cassidy restored Pools advantage with 20 minutes to go.

With the contest heading into stoppage time, substitute Joe Leesley whipped a free kick towards the back post that Howe rose highest to head into the back of the net and send his side away with a valuable point!

Simon Weaver made one change from Saturday's opening weekend draw with Sutton United as goalscoring substitute Kelvin Langmead replaced the injured Ryan Fallowfield.

Hartlepool, meanwhile, named the same starting XI that took a point from Maidstone United in their opening fixture with former Town midfielder Nicky Featherstone lining up against his former side.

Both sides were limited to shots from long range in the opening exchanges with Jake Cassidy and George Thomson firing off target.

It wasn't until the 16th minute until a 'keeper was called into action as James Belshaw made an excellent triple save to deny the hosts going ahead.

First Town's number one kept out Carl Magnay's 30 yard effort, before denying Cassidy twice with his feet to deny the hosts.

After needing Belshaw to keep their clean sheet in tact, Town's pressing penned the hosts back and managed to silence the crowd, though Scott Loach was able to deal with anything that came his way.

The impressive Belshaw was in the thick of the action again in the 32nd minute as a quick break down the right was pulled back to Featherstone just outside the area, but Belshaw denied the former Town midfielder with a flying save.

It was Weaver's side who finished the first half on the front foot with Jack Muldoon forcing a save from Loach, who managed to claw away the loose ball a fraction before Aaron Williams could finish the job.

The last action of an entertaining first half saw George Thomson cut inside on his left after receiving a raking ball from Josh Falkingham, only to find Loach in fine form to save.

Despite Town's strong finish, it was Pools who came flying out of the traps for the second 45 with Liam Noble almost breaking the deadlock after a clever Cassidy dummy, but seeing his finish deflect behind.

Noble managed to find space again in the 53rd minute as he escpaed the attentions of Liam Kitching and saw his pull back bobble up kindly onto the head of Muir, who made no mistake from close range.

It took took Town just seven minutes to find a reply though, as Falkingham fired a low ball across the face of goal where Knowles was waiting to tap in at the far post.

The visitors were on the front foot after levelling with Muldoon and Emmett going close, but found themselves behind again in the 70th minute when Cassidy latched on to a ball over the top and managed to find the top corner, despite the best efforts of a recovering Callum Howe.

Weaver introduced Joe Leesley in an effort to again get back on level terms and the winger almost provided the goods in the 85th minute, whipping in a delicious ball to the back post, but seeing it headed away well.

With the contest heading into stoppage time, Leesley whipped a free kick towards the back post that Howe rose highest to head into the back of the net and send his side away with a valuable point!

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Burrell, Kitching, Falkingham, Howe, Langmead, Thomson, Emmett, Knowles, Williams, Muldoon (Leesley 76)

Subs not used: Cracknell, Agnew, Kerry, Parker

Goals: Knowles 60, Howe 90

Hartlepool: Loach, Magnay, Davies, Kioso, Donaldson, Featherstone (McLaughlin 68), Noble, Kitching, Muir (Newton 86), James, Cassidy

Subs not used: Anderson, Woods, Dinanga

Goals: Muir 53, Cassidy 70

Referee: Joe Johnson

Attendance: 3623
Match Result
Hartlepool United
Hartlepool United
Muir 53, Cassidy 70
2
Town
Town
Knowles 60, Howe 90
2
Victoria Park
7:45PM Tuesday 07 August 2018
Attendance 3623
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