If anyone would have turned up a few minutes late at Victoria Park, Hartlepool, they would have missed the game's two goals. After waiting for nearly two years to be awarded a penalty, The Saddlers got one in the second minute when Paul Murray's high boot comnnected with Walsall's over lapping full back Mat Saddler. John Macken cooly stroked the ball home to the delight of their 153 travelling faithful.
However just two minutes later 'Pool found themselves back on level terms with a stupid goal. Keeper Scott Flinders booted up field. The bounce seemed to beat Jimmy Walker-who appeared to have one eye on Andy Butler and although he got his finger tips to it, the ball trickeled goalwards with Colin Nish tapping in just in case.
Then came the incident of the match. Andy Butler and and Paul Murray went into the challenge and the referee sent both men off to the surprise of everyone in the ground. Both sides played some decent football in that first half with chances being created at both ends.
The second half wasn't so busy on major incident but both teams competed well and made a decent fist of it.The pleasing thing for Walsall was they adjusted well despite playing with ten men. Hartlepool has never been a happy hunting ground so a point was most welcome.