Hartlepool Utd 2 Shrewsbury 2: Monkhouse rescue act saves Pools

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Andy Monkhouse came from the bench to salvage a last-minute draw for Hartlepool United at home to Shrewsbury Town, writes Craig Hope.

Pools had seen Jonathan Franks’ opening goal reversed by a double from Shrews striker Marvin Morgan and Neale Cooper’s men were staring at their fourth defeat of the season.

But Monkhouse, dropped along with Neil Austin and Simon Walton, fired home in the 90th minute to claim a point for the hosts.

Pools had earlier begun brightly and Steve Howard was unlucky when his low drill was smothered by Chris Weale at his near post on 10 minutes.

But the breakthrough did arrive just five minutes later, with Howard again the tormentor in chief.

The striker towered to cushion Evan Horwood’s high loft into the path of Franks and he smashed emphatically into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

But The Shrews were level on 27 minutes when Morgan pounced on the loose ball from Luke Summerfield’s free-kick, smashing home from just eight yards out.

The visitors were buoyed by the restoration of parity and went in search of a second, Pools keeper Scott Flinders having to be on his guard to claw clear Paul Parry’s net-bound curler.

The score remained level going into the break and Pools were first to show after the restart, Paul Murray testing Weale with a 25-yard strike which the netminder had to watch into his grasp.

Parry then attempted an audacious free-kick from the halfway line which had Flinders scrambling, the effort landing on the roof of the home goal.

At the other end Lynch stepped inside his man on the fringe of the area before seeing his curler clawed around the post by an airborne Weale.

The visiting stopper again took flight when Horwood tried his luck from a free-kick 20 yards out but the ball landed the wrong side of the crossbar.

Franks then spurned a great chance to restore Pools’ lead, opting to cross from rather than shoot when presented with an opening inside the area, and within 60 seconds the hosts were behind, Morgan bursting clear of a wrong-footed backline and cooly slotting below Flinders on 82 minutes.

Parry clipped the upright moments later and Mark Wright blazed over the bar from close range when he should have put the game out of sight.

And Shrewsbury were to rue that miss when Monkhouse volleyed the leveller from 10 yards in the final minute

But Pools still had to call upon Flinders to save their point deep into stoppage time when Moragn again broke clear, the Pools No.1 off his line in a flash to block the shot.