Tranmere Rovers 0 Hartlepool United 0

Last updated : 17 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Tranmere, after their excellent midweek FA Cup success at Bolton, had to settle for a point against Hartlepool in a hard-fought contest at Prenton Park.

Certainly the visitors fully deserved a share of the spoils with a dogged display. They came closest to a goal in the 64th minute when a 25-yard shot from Matty Robson rebounded to safety off a post.

Late on it needed a headed goalline clearance by Michael Nelson to keep out a Micky Mellon free-kick and prevent Rovers snatching the points.

Danny Harrison and Iain Hume wasted good first-half chances for Tranmere, while Nelson and Mark Tinkler were also off target for Hartlepool with what appeared easy heading opportunities.

Right on half time home keeper John Achterberg made the save of the match from a 25-yarder by Joel Porter.

Tranmere changed their formation for the last half hour after Ian Sharps was injured and finished strongly, but their penalty claims were turned down after Hume went down in the box late on.

"I thought we might have sneaked it at the end but I accept the point," said Tranmere boss Brian Little.

"It was a good game and a fair result overall. Certainly they gave us one or two problems, but the response from my players was first class at the end of a tough week.

"I thought we may have had a penalty at the end but it was not given." Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper said: "We deserved the point. In fact I thought we were a bit unlucky not to get a win.

"Everybody worked their socks off and we have kept another clean sheet against a side which had a terrific cup result midweek."