Sloppy County Give It Away
County gifted visitors Hartlepool a second half draw at Edgeley Park last night in front of only 3780 fans.
The Hatters rocked Hartlepool with two goals in the space of a minute in the first half. They took the lead in the 16th minute when Michael Rose whipped in a dangerous cross and new loan signing Nicholas Bignall flicked a well-directed header past 'Pools keeper Scott Flinders.
And as the County fans barely had time to take their seats again, Gary Ablett's side went and scored another.
The ball again found it's way to Rose, who this time pulled the ball back to midfielder Liam Bridcutt who looped in a high, hanging ball.
Skipper Michael Raynes found himself in unfamiliar territory in the opposition's penalty area, but he rose highest and planted a header flying over Flinders for the second of the night.
County went on to completely dominate the first half, and in all honesty could have grabbed three of four.
But Chris Turner has a resilient squad of players on his hands at Hartlepool, and they really rallied and stunned County in the second forty-five.
In the true meaning of a 'game of two halves', County came out from the tunnel looking a completely different side, giving the ball away time after time and inviting more and more pressure onto the back-line.
'Pool were back in it on the 50 minute mark when striker Adam Boyd excellently controlled a through ball and fired his effort over the head of Owain fon Williams' and into the roof of the net. Great finish.
And from then on, County couldn't get a foothold on the game and it gradually slipped away from the Hatters.
They sat back and sat back, and soon after, The Monkey Hangers were level, and not undeservedly.
Boyd was again at the heart of things, nodding a header down into the path of Dennis Behan, who couldn't miss as he flicked the ball at goal, going in via the post.
And only then did County attack, with Liam Bridcutt going close with a 30 yard piledriver that must have missed by about a few inches.
Striker Peter Thompson was brought on to partner Nick Bignall, and he put himself about and won a few headers but all to no avail as County couldn't carve out an opening.
So, a frustrating night for Gary Ablett, who will be frustrated with the mistakes in the second half, but buoyed by the first half performance and the patterns of play which County dominated.
Come on County.