Pompey earn gutsy point at Pools

Therry Racon holds off the challenge of Hartlepool's Jonathan Franks  Picture: Joe Pepler
Therry Racon holds off the challenge of Hartlepool's Jonathan Franks Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey ended their losing run with a gutsy 0-0 draw at Hartlepool tonight.

That meant the Blues avoided picking up the worst run of defeats in the club’s history at Victoria Park.

But it’s still 20 games without a win for Guy Whittingham’s side – which is an all-time low.

Pompey’s hardy 280 fans, who sang incessantly, were sent home happy with what they saw from their team.

There looked to be a late let-off when the otherwise excellent Sam Sodje appeared to handball a cross in the visitors’ penalty area in stoppage time.

Referee Darren Bond said no, however, meaning Whittingham’s men picked up their first clean sheet since the 0-0 draw with Preston.

It was a decent start from Pompey, although neither side were immediately in the ascendancy.

But Hartlepool-born Adam Reed was looking menacing with some nice touches and runs.

And Reed was inches away from opening the scoring after eight minutes when he jinked into the box and fizzed a shot inches wide of the far post.

Pools replied with a free-kick from Jack Baldwin but Reed did his job in the wall.

Jed Wallace was looking bright on his return to the team but went into the book for two fouls in quick succession.

James Keene then tried his luck from a tight angle, which keeper Scott Flinders saved at the second attempt.

Sodje was the next Pompey booking, after a foul and a moan too many.

Then Charlie Wyke bundled his way into the Blues box, but Simon Eastwood saved sharply from his effort.

It may not have been vintage stuff but it was still encouraging from Whittingham’s side as they went in all-square at the break.

The second half started with Wallace firing wide five minutes after the restart.

Pools upped the pressure as the half wore on, however, with Baldwin going close on three occasions.

Reed had a jinking run into the hosts’ box in stoppage time but his shot was blocked.

And then came the late penalty shout, before the whistle arrived to signal a point for the Blues.