From the very first whistle, this particular match didn't look promising. Both sides seemed set for negative tactics being happy to play the ball along the back line intermitently involving the keeper in the knock about in the September sunshine on the south coast.
First half chances were few and far between. In fact I don't think either keeper was tested to any great extent, let alone called upon to make a save. The closest the Cherries came to a goal came through a Fogden downward header which narrowly cleared the cross bar. Right idea not quite the execution. Hartlepool first half chances ........
The Cherries were boo'd off at half time after a truely abject first half.
The start of the second period suggested that a more lively second period was on the cards after McQuoid had a shot go wide in the opening 30 seconds. Sadly it didn't spark a goal rush, or a rush of any kind to be perfectly honest. The game settled back in a dull stalemate.
The introduction of Daniels and Pugh down the left made some difference, but the overall quality of the build up play was still lacking from both sets of players.
The loudest cheer from Cherries fans came when their prayers were finally answered with the introduction of Matt Tubbs in the 67th minute (long over due in this reporters opinion).
Sadly the opening goal went the way of our visitors just 6 minutes when a soft penalty was conceded by MacDonald in the 73rd minute when the Pool player was going no where in the penalty area. Walton duely sent Jalal the wrong way. At this stage it seemed that the points were heading back north for the 3rd year running as Pool tried to shut up shop. It seemed one of those days when Tubbs was a guilty of a Thomas-esque headed miss from barely 2-yards out. Easier to score surely?!
A point was finally salvaged when, in a tight central area, Addison found Fogden whose slide rule pass found Tubbs to slot home in the 93rd minute!
A draw was a fair result in the end - even if painful getting there.
Jalal - had nothing to do except for picking the ball out from the penalty.
The outfield players - none really shone to be honest. Too many school-boy errors made. Massive gaps in midfield handing midfield to Hartlepool too often and for too long.
The management team - if I've not said it once, I've said it many times over, this reporter is not convinced that messers Groves or Brooks have a clue what they are doing. For long spells, until Tubbs came on, it wasn't clear who was meant to be up front with so-called front men disappearing out to the wings.
AFCB: Jalal, Francis, Addision, Elphick, Cook, Fogden, MacDonald, Arter, Partington, Grabban, McQuoid
Subs: Collins, Zubar, O'Kane, Thomas, Pugh (for Arter, 53 mins), Daniels (for Cook, 53 mins), Tubbs (for McQuoid, 67 mins)
Andy Burton, Fratton